The Source of All Your Sales Force Problems

In all the work I have done as a sales development coach, I have learned that when sales teams aren’t performing, the problem usually lies with sales management.

All too often, a sales manager neglects his/her team because they “don’t want to be a babysitter.” Their personal belief systems about how people should work and behave cause lack of attention and the teams get lazy. Many managers believe that all salespeople can and should be treated and managed the same. This belief could not be further from the truth. Managing everyone the same way allows poor performers to hide in plain site.

In nature we call this effect ‘disruptive correlation’. Zebras use it to camouflage themselves from lions. A lone zebra can easily be spotted by a hungry lion. However, when zebras move in a herd, their stripes create the optical illusion of one giant zebra. The lion knows it could never take down an animal that big so it leaves the herd alone and stalks the more vulnerable loners.

The same principle can be applied to sales management. A sales manager who believes all his people are the same doesn’t see the individuals on the team, doesn’t address poor performers or help develop the “A” players. Everybody loses.

Develop Individual Sales Goals and Sales Coaching Plans

Every salesperson needs a sales plan. This individual plan should be tailored to individual abilities and career goals, and support the goals of the department and company. A good manager will assist his people in developing their plans—not just send them off to do it on their own.

Every salesperson needs personal coaching and individualized management from their manager. If your sales managers do not have the knowledge to deliver individualized coaching, then the training needs to start with them.

Howard Shore is a sales development coach who works with companies that need leadership development and business management coaching. Based in Miami, Florida, Howard’s firm, Activate Group, Inc. provides strategic planning and management coaching to businesses across the country. To learn more about sales development coaching through AGI, please visit, contact Howard at (305) 722-7216 or email him.