Rumor has it that leadership development is cool again. As an executive coach, I’m happy about that. Spending on Leadership education and development is up over 60% since 2013 and seems to be increasing. But not in the areas that you might think. In the area of sales leadership, frankly we could use a little rain.
As a former sales leader, I really felt that my role served as the pivot point in the organization. Who better to translate strategy into execution for the field and to process and package customer feedback for marketing and senior decision makers.
But today if you ask a rep when was that last time they worked with their manager in their territory, you’d be hard pressed to hear anything recent. In working with salespeople daily, we’ve observed that the sales manager is rarely working with the rep in the field. Rather they’re in countless meetings, rolling up data in Salesforce.com for other senior leaders, or negotiating for resources and competitive pricing. They may attend a key customer meeting or organize an offsite in a neutral location, but outside of email and text, the new way of connecting is disconnected. My fear - the traditional “work-with” may be a thing of the past.
Now I’m sure there are readers out there that would bristle at the suggestion that they don't “do” sales management. If you are doing it and doing it well - I’m really happy for you and your team. If you're not, I have a few ideas. Lets go to the Doppler:
Bill Walton Sales Training has over 60 years of collective Fortune 500 company experience in Sales, Sales Training and Field Sales Management. Our specialty is preparing individuals and organizations to present their value propositions in a way that results in higher close ratios. Our team are un-blurring the lines of differentiation between their client's fiercest competitors.