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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Sales Manager Gut Check


As a student of Florida State University in the 90’s, I fell in love with the sport of football. It has been great to see my alma mater be relevant again in the world of college football, but I have always been a fan of the sport—whether it is college, professional, or even just well-done football movies. One theme that flows through all football successes is strong leadership, talented players, and a vision/philosophy that every person must believe in, to be a part of the team. 

Successful sales teams are very similar–strong management, talented sellers and a vision that everyone believes. Those teams void of a strong leader, talent and clear direction, may experience some success, but those teams will never lead the pack, they will never win the National Championship.

As a leader of your organization, do you provide your sales team with clear direction? The Gut Check questions below are rhetorical, but designed to get you thinking. Take a look at the list… do your responses demonstrate a strong sales leader for your team?

  • Does success of my team begin with me?

  • Do I expect my team to do things that I would not do?

  • Do I ask my team to learn what I do not know?

  • Am I setting the right internal expectations with my Account Executives, and are they clear?

  • How often am I actively coaching my salespeople in the field and do I provide them with feedback within 24 hours?

  • Do I regularly conduct Individual Focused Management meetings with each salesperson on my team?

  • Do my Account Executives conduct a quarterly needs analysis with their clients?

  • Can I help my Account Executives put together strong integrated strategies that will deliver results for their clients?

  • What number of my Account Executives are 100% of their budget?

  • Is my team getting their share of the dollars in the market with their active clients?

  • Do I have an individualized plan for each member of my team that caters to his or her strengths?

  • How many client calls include a conversation about their online and offline strategies?

  • Do I promote engagement with my team?

  • What is the current renewal rate of my team?

  • What is our attrition rate?

  • What percentage of my Account Executive’s accounts is on long-term contracts?

  • Do I take full responsibility for the success of my team, or do I push portions off to a product expert or another sales leader in my organization?

  • Are my Account Executives “pushing product” instead of creating a custom solution?

  • Am I able to coach my Account Executives on managing expectations with clients? 

Are there questions on your list that you didn’t see here, but are imperative to the success of you and your team? If so share them with us in the comments section below.

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Topics: Sales