Small Company Blues-Who Manages the Salespeople?

The short answer is no one. Excuse me, I was wrong. The owner of the company, in all his or her wisdom has a weekly sales meeting, which is nothing more than an update on why the 40 opportunities haven’t closed. The owner then is the sales manager. Right? Smack dead wrong!!

I continue to be flabbergasted at the level of incompetence in small to medium size companies when it comes to managing the salespeople. And owners wonder why their companies fail or sales are flat or they have constant turnover. Sooner than later the owner has to admit that their salesperson or people need some direction and a weekly sales meeting update isn’t it.

If you are a small to medium size company here are some reasonable steps to start managing your salespeople. And by the way don’t do too much too soon. You’ll run out of steam and so will the salespeople. In a matter of months you and they will be back to the status quo. Here’s a short list for some ways to manage your salespeople.

  1. Make them accountable for their daily sales actions. How many sales calls did they make? How many hours did they prospect? How many leads did they generate? How much time did they actually spend on sales activities? (You will be shocked by what they and you will find here.)
  2. If you haven’t given them a sales revenue target for the year do it now. You would be amazed at the number of owners who do not do this.
  3. Meet with the salesperson once every two weeks to review their activities and revenue progress. once you’re satisfied that the rep gets what accountability is all about have these meetings once per month.

This is really a bare bones approach to sales management for the small business owner. However it’s more than most of them do now.

Whomever says ‘can’t’ will never move out of their comfort zone.


One thought on “Small Company Blues-Who Manages the Salespeople?

  1. Ouch. As a small business owner, I can totally see your point. I’m not a fan of the weekly sales meeting either.

    What sort of accountability measures would you employ? This has got to be the hardest part of management. You could the 80’s “do it or I’ll fire your sorry ***”. I don’t think that works anymore. Any thoughts on this?


    Dan Friesen

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