5 years ago
June 11, 2019

Top 6 Challenges Sales Managers Face & How to Deal With Them

Sales managers have one of the most challenging roles in the industry. They wear many hats and have to manage sales functions, reps, and strategies. There are a lot of…

Rhys Metler

Sales managers have one of the most challenging roles in the industry. They wear many hats and have to manage sales functions, reps, and strategies. There are a lot of moving parts and finding the time to effectively manage all of these functions is a key success factor.

Sales is a dynamic and ever-changing industry. It evolves at a rapid pace and rarely do sales professionals have the opportunity to take a step back and assess the challenges they face.

“As a sales leader, you’re responsible for a lot of moving pieces. You have to build and scale a sales team, make decisions on compensation and incentives, train and onboard new hires, all while making sure your team is selling at the right velocity and volume,” says Leslie Ye on Hubspot.

Toronto sales recruiters believe the top issue for sales managers is there is no simple answer to address these challenges. They are complex, require a lot of time and effort to overcome, and many of these challenges are interrelated. How managers approach one situation can have an effect on others.

So, how do sales managers overcome these challenges? The first step is to have awareness and identify the challenges they need to overcome and then work on them. This will help sales managers become more effective in their role and provide better overall direction to the sales team.

Top Challenges Sales Managers Face and How to Deal With Them

All sales managers and leaders are faced with a variety of challenges on a daily basis. Here are some of the top challenges sales managers face, with some insight from sales recruiters on how to deal with them:

1. Transitioning from Rep to Sales Manager

Many sales reps aspire to become a sales manager at some point in their career. When they do, many professionals find the transition is not as easy as anticipated. Making the jump from a sales rep to a manager completely changes your role. It’s no longer just about making the sale. You need to take a step back and let your reps handle sales. Avoid the temptation to jump in and help. You need to run a team, be a coach, motivate others, and manage the sales process from a completely new perspective.

2. Time Management

Sales managers are often in a position where they have so much to do and so little time to accomplish it. Sales is a fast-paced environment and for some, it can be a bit overwhelming dealing with all the tasks they need to accomplish each day, week, month, and year. You need to keep up your sales numbers, continue to help your reps improve, provide training, deal with day-to-day administrative tasks, and much more.

The key to effective time management is to have a plan. Break down your role into smaller compartmental tasks. Assign these tasks a level of importance. Allot time for the tasks you need to complete each day, week, month. Create an effective plan to help you stay on track and get the most out of your time at the office.

Too much to do and not enough time?

3. Sales Managers Need To Hire the Right People

Perhaps the biggest challenge for sales managers, and for all professionals, is hiring the right people to join your sales team. Hiring the wrong person can have a significant effect on your sales team’s performance, morale, and culture. It can also affect the relationships you have with your customers, and cause a drop in sales.

You can deal with this challenge by being proactive about how you hire. Sales recruiters advise knowing who you want to hire and giving the recruiting process enough time to find the right person. Make each hire count.

4. Keeping Your Sales Reps Motivated

Keeping your sales team motivated can take up a lot of a sales manager’s time and effort. The challenge is that you can’t simply take a collective approach. What motivates one rep will not necessarily motivate another. Everyone is unique in this sense. For some, it may be about making more money; but for others, it may be about being challenged or pursuing an opportunity for growth.

Sales managers need to get to know their sales reps on an individual level. You need to understand what motivates each rep individually and your team as a whole in order to get the most out of them. Use training and coaching sessions as a means to understand your team and figure out how to reward your reps for good performance.

5. Retaining Top Talent

Finding top sales talent is one thing, but the recruiting doesn’t stop once you have them on your team. Putting effort into keeping your top performing reps is just as important. You can’t afford to lose a top rep, especially to a competitor. Therefore, you need to be proactive about creating an inviting, strong, and engaging environment for your reps.

While your hands may be tied to some extent as to what you can offer top sales reps, sales managers need to take steps to keep their team happy and satisfied. How you do this will depend, again, on what motivates your team.

6. Coaching

Being an effective sales coach is one of your top roles as a sales manager. It is also one of the most challenging. It can be easy to put coaching and training on the back burner while you put out fires and manage the day-to-day functions of your team. However, effective coaching can actually make your job easier. The more you coach and train your team to handle objections and other issues individually, the more independent they will become. They will also be less reliant on you.

Make coaching a top priority, especially for new and poorly performing reps. It will improve your team’s skills, approach and make your team better overall.

More Blogs About Sales Managers

Are you a sales manager? Thinking about becoming one? Check out these insightful blog posts from Toronto sales recruiters about how to be an effective sales manager:

How to Prepare for Your First Week at Your New Sales Manager Job

5 Things Sales Managers Wish They Knew Before Taking the Job

6 Tips to Be a Successful Sales Manager

Hiring a Sales Director? 6 Things to Look for on Resumes to Find the Best of the Best

6 Questions to Ask a Potential Sales Manager During an Interview


SalesForce Search is a Toronto sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.