Sales managers – expectations and accountability


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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.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Ruff
For more than 30 years Richard Ruff has worked with the Fortune 1000 to craft sales training programs that make a difference. Working with market leaders Dick has learned that today's great sales force significantly differs from yesterday. So, Sales Momentum offers firms effective sales training programs affordably priced. Dick is the co-author of Parlez-Vous Business, to help sales people have smart business conversations with customers, and the Sales Training Connection.


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