Sales teams always need a bit of tweaking. It’s just a fact of life. And as you’ve all heard before, everyone needs a coach, even when you’re at the top of your game as an athlete, a sales person − or a sales manager. But sometimes, coaching doesn’t get you to your ultimate game plan. Sometimes, the only thing left to do is replace your sales manager.
The obvious symptom of poor sales management is sales reps consistently missing their numbers. Others may include:
Recognizing a sales management problem is just part of the issue. You then need to pinpoint where the problems lie so you can determine if there’s a chance for improvement. However, this is not always possible.
Sales managers may have the skill and the will to lead their sales teams, or they may not. Skills can be worked on and improved, but without the will, it’s highly unlikely that any positive changes will occur. Also, dysfunction leads to bad morale, which can be tough to recover from, even if the sales manager has the will to change.
Here are five unmistakable clues that it’s time to replace your sales manager:
Of course, the next question is, how do you find a good sales manager? Finding that person who can work well in your organization, within your culture, can be a science project on its own. It’s not as easy as it seems. And, we all know that top performing sales people do not always make great sales managers. Although you can replace internally, there are issues with this unless you have a specific succession plan in place for someone to take over the sales management role. But, few companies do this. Or, you can go out to the marketplace and/or get referrals, but that can be a bit of a crap shoot.
The bottom line is, first you have to recognize the signs of dysfunctional leadership. Second, you need to know when it’s time to replace your sales manager. It’s not an easy decision since this can be disruptive to your sales organization. But, based on my experience, it will be as much of a relief to your sales team as it will be to your outgoing sales manager. Only then can you begin to turn things around.