The challenge for executives is to recognize the signs that indicate doing nothing is more distracting than bringing in a new sales manager.
Organizations put significant time, effort, and money into placing and training sales managers. Given the resources spent here, it is understandable that executives might be reluctant to make a change and look for a new sales manager when the current sales manager is underperforming. Yet the wish to avoid confrontation usually results in confrontation and further lost resources down the road. The following four signs can indicate a new sales manager is needed.
Effective project management is critical for your sales cycle. If the projects your sales manager and those he or she supervises are delivering aren’t of quality, are delivered late, or come in over budget, the sales manager is not effective at project management. A good sales manager should be able to deliver on all routine and most special projects without coaching. When a sales manager is not prepared to take on this responsibility, it is possible that he or she is not ready for the role. A new sales manager with the requisite project management skills is the best way to solve this difficulty.
One of the most important tasks a sales manager performs is making sure that all of the sales people reporting to him or her contribute to maintaining a respectful, enjoyable working environment for the entire team. Sales managers should consistently:
Re-training rarely works for sales managers who are unwilling or unable to confront interpersonal issues on the sales team head on. If interpersonal conflict is impacting the sales team and the sales manager is not able to correct the matter, a new sales manager is needed.
A strong sales manager should always be pushing the envelope, looking for continually better performance in all metrics from the sales team. If sales quotas are not a moving target, the risk is that the sales team will become complacent; at that point, change is difficult to achieve. If a sales manager is reluctant to advocate for change, it’s a sign that a new sales manager who will not be afraid to move the needle is called for. Additionally, while a sales manager at the helm of a complacent sales team might be managing, he or she is not leading; if the signs indicate that sales coaching and leadership development are not a possibility for this manager, a new sales manager who can lead rather than simply respond is what is needed.
Effective sales managers are dedicated to the success of their sales team, and take personal responsibility for the team’s success or failure. Dedication like this requires intensity, living and breathing the sales cycle while being fully present during working hours. A sales manager without this intensity will have a harder time motivating the sales people reporting to him or her, and might not even be able to reach individuals who perceive that the sales manager’s commitment is less than total. If coaching does not help this sales manager, a new sales manager could be the only solution.
Replacing a sales manager should truly only be done when a new sales manager is the most viable solution, since management changes can be disruptive to the sales team. The challenge for executives is to recognize the signs that indicate doing nothing is more distracting than bringing in a new sales manager. However, after a new sales manager is brought on board positive changes for the sales team are immediate and the new direction provided to a struggling sales team can be invaluable.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ 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 two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.