This is an excerpt from my second book, Managing the Sales Process, available on Amazon.com. You can find a series of these excerpts in a dedicated blog category to get a broad overview, post-by-post, of the book (they are listed in reverse order in the category, so start with the oldest).

From Chapter 4 – WHAT THE SALES MANAGER SHOULD BE DOING

I’ve observed that most sales manager simply don’t know what to do, so they sell. Let’s now answer the follow-up question: What should they be doing? The four main things are holding salespeople accountable, coaching, motivating, and recruiting. We’ll touch on the first three now and the last in a later chapter.

[BLOG NOTE: We will touch on accountability here and then coaching and motivating in subsequent installments]

Accountability
The single most important thing that a sales manager can do is to hold salespeople accountable for their sales efforts and results. So far we have discussed the development of a sales process that is mass-customized and metrics-based, then incorporating that into a CRM system that actually both supports the efforts of the salespeople and provides management with the metrics needed to evaluate team and individual performance.

It is up to the sales manager to review those metrics and to use them with each salesperson and the sales team that the manager is responsible for to help improve performance.

Accountability, as the definition implies, is not about collecting data. In the context of a sales organization, it should be about collecting data and using it to demonstrate to people where they might try harder, or work smarter, or save time. This is the key role of the sales manager. The macro activity is called accountability, and what is achieved as a result of that accountability are opportunities for the manager to do the other two things related to existing salespeople in their organization that they should be spending most of their time on ─ coaching and motivating.

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Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)

So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.

If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:

The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.

Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.

The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.

If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.

Here’s to your success!

-David