There are two key takeaways for senior leadership. First, sales managers are the key point of leverage in your sales force — both positive and negative. When you have low-performing sales managers in your ranks, each one costs you millions of dollars in lost revenue. Your actual cost depends on how bad they are, how many salespeople they affect, and how big your quotas happen to be. But our research suggests that large companies are missing out on tens of millions of dollars in revenue because of poor sales management.
Fortunately, the second takeaway is much more inspiring. Sales managers also represent the greatest opportunity for improvement. When you invest heavily in your sales managers, you get big returns for your effort. Furthermore, it’s been our experience that most sales managers are starved for training on how to do their jobs better. When they finally receive it, they love it. And they use it. And research shows that it makes a huge difference in the performance of their teams.
So somewhere in your sales force, you have millions of dollars in lost revenue that’s hiding in plain sight. Your sales managers hold the keys to recovering that revenue, but you will only realize it if you invest in training them to do their jobs better. Once you make the commitment to develop your managers, you will surely discover healthier pipelines, more accurate forecasts, and greater revenue growth. If you want to have a truly outstanding sales force, then you need to build a team of truly outstanding sales managers.