I have not written about sales managers in a long, long time other than the few comments I made about sales managers and small businesses. But this thought occurred to me this morning in the shower. (Why there I have no idea!) I do think that this topic has value.
There is one interesting qualifier here, which most so-called experts on sales management never consider. What size company is the sales manager working in? This does make a difference. In smaller companies where the owner is the sales manager (God rest his or her soul) the success of the owner/sales manager should be assessed by the following:
- Does the owner know enough to create a sales process or method?
- Does the owner know when the need for more sales will require the addition of the first salesperson?
- Does the owner/manager know whom he or she should hire? The variables in this decision deserve another post.
- Does the owner/manager understand how to bring a new sales rep up to speed on product knowledge?
- Does the O/M have a sense for how big the sales staff will have to be so hiring becomes part of a long-range plan vs. the typical stop-gap hire?
- Does the O/M know how to manage the salesperson? (Chances are slim the owner does.)
- Has the O/M set performance expectations for the new salesperson?
I could go on here for more bullet points than you have patience to read. There is a lot to consider when you are evaluating a sales manager’s performance in a small company.
Tomorrow we’ll add some comments about the mid-size company and sales manager effectiveness.