Sales managers – expectations and accountability

Sales managers

Sales managers – setting expectations and accountability

Too often sales managers – and for that matter other managers – think what needs to be done is intuitive – so of course everyone on their team understands what is to be done and why.

Unfortunately, very often it’s only intuitive to the sales manager – not to the remainder of the sales team.  This isn’t a major issue … as long as sales managers understand the phenomenon and make adjustments for it.

It is particularly important that sales managers set clear expectations.  Answering these four questions can go along way in clarifying expectations and setting the direction necessary to make them actionable for the sales team:

  • What are we accountable for?
  • Why is it a priority?
  • What resources are available for getting it done?
  • How we going to measure success?

There was a school of thought that all that needs to be done in regard to the expectation thing is to inform sales reps about their quota and then just keep checking if they are on their way to achieving it.  Unfortunately that school of thought still lingers about.  Knowing quota, however, does not provide a comprehensive answer to our four questions.

In today’s market the effectiveness your sales force is more than ever driven by the collective competencies of your frontline managers.  Setting clear expectations is simply one of the many requirements that make frontline managers the pivotal job for achieving sales success.

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©2014 Sales Momentum®




About Richard Ruff

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. During his career Dick has authored numerous articles related to sales effectiveness and co-authored "Managing Major Sales", a book about sales management, "Parlez-Vous Business" which helps sales people integrate the language of business into the sales process, and "Getting Partnering Right" – a research based work on the best practices for forming strategic selling alliances. Dr. Ruff received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Tennessee and a B.S. from Rennsselaer Polytechnic Institute.
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