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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How to Train a Sales Manager

How to Train a Sales Manager

Assuming a sales manager does need a training plan can be a costly mistake. Too often this element is overlooked, and revenue suffers. Creating a training plan that includes specific elements to be completed in the first 30-60 days on the job is a great way to avoid this.

Here are four areas that should be included in a sales manager training plan:

  • People
  • Process
  • Planning
  • Performance

Keeping reading for information on each to add focus to the area of creating and using training for a manager.

1. Focus on People

Building a talent-based organization is important and performance starts and ends with people. Understanding talent and the talents of everyone on the sales team provides a solid foundation for success. Too often, talent is overlooked because organizations are hyper focused on the outcome of driving revenue.

Coaching Sales Talent eBook

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins framed this using the following concept: first who, then what. Building a talent-based organization is a proven way to improve sales performance. Providing training to a sales manager in these areas is extremely important:

Start with the talents of the manager when hiring and ensure they have the talents required for the position. Using a predictive, validated, and role specific assessment like the management talent assessment improves the likelihood of success in hiring a superstar manager.

This type of assessment works extremely well for first time managers as well as experienced managers.

2. Focus on the Process

Helping a sales manager get dialed in with process related concepts enables talent sellers to sell smarter and faster. Here are a few areas related to process that should be included in a sales manager training plan:

  • Understanding the sales process used by the organization. This means, the manager should complete and understand the organizations sales training and the sales process.

  • Understanding the organizations systems and resources tied to the following:
    • Product features and benefits.
    • The Account List Management Strategy.
    • CRM and other sales enablement resources like inbound marketing lead generation.
    • Weekly sales plan and account development meetings (also called individual focus meetings).
    • Sales meeting and sales training focus.
    • Pricing and inventory management (and use of related software if available).

3. Focus on Planning

Understanding the annual revenue planning and budgeting process is also important. Additionally, training related to annual sales calendar that provides dates and details of revenue initiatives is helpful.

Depending on the time of the year, this training might not happen in the first 30-60 days of employment.

Sales Calendar: 3 Reasons You Need One

4. Focus on Performance

Understanding revenue goals, KPIs, sales pipeline and holding sellers accountable should not be forgotten.

The accountability courses in the Performance section of IMPACT covers what needs to happen in these areas to drive maximum performance and helps set the framework for what you need to hold your people accountable to.

The Bottom Line

This post covers many areas that should be included in a sales manager training plan. However, most managers don’t receive training in any of these areas or, they receive on-the-job training.

Feel free to compare this information with your manager training plan and make the appropriate adjustments specific to your organization.

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Topics: IMPACT leadership development