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Monday, 19 July 2010

Recruiting and Selecting Sales Managers

I am reposting this after reading todays Harvard business review:

defined front line Sales Management as the critical function to Revenue Performance. The Task of the Sales Manager is to Generate Revenue. They are some of the easiest people to measure in the whole firm. Total monthly revenue, quarterly revenue and Annual revenue are the key measures. Then we pyramid ratios and compare them to other Sales Managers, Revenue per sales head, and percentage of sales people hitting monthly, quarterly and annual sales targets, as well as Staff retention.

When all is said and done, every time I find a sales centre of excellence at its centre is an excellent Sales Manager. Sales Centres of Excellence exceed targets on a regular basis; they have more top performers than poor performers. They are the place where future Sales Managers are grown and it is the best place to have New Sales Hires start work.

This paragon of worth the 'ExSellent Sales Manager' does three things well:

Leader, Manager and Coach and ALL are MEASURABLE.

  • Management first; this is Performance Management, activity, pipeline, territory allocation and control, Customer satisfaction and most importantly Sales Discipline and Standards of Performance. Show me a Sales Manager without Standards of Performance and I will show you a failing Sales Manager.

  • Leadership, I use the great model developed by Ken Blanchard from the One-minute Manager series, Situational Leadership IIEasy to understand, behaviourally based, adaptable and MEASURABLE.
    The rules are simple: treat everybody DIFFERENTLY; treat the same Person differently for different tasks. Sales Leadership skills are measurable for both different styles Capability and Flexibility and finally the fit between need and style given.

  • Coach, have individual Personal Development Plans, show regular activities based on Sales Development, being coached themselves (Coaching the Coach) looking for opportunities to develop their team and themselves. The Skills and Activities of successful Sales Coaching are measureable.

I recruit against this job description.

Manager show me your methods and systems for Performance Management.”

“Give me examples of your Leadership styles.”

“Talk me through the Personal Development Plans for the individuals in your team.”

Finally; I verify all I gathered at interview with an Assessment Centre, composed of making a 30 minute sales call to sell their current product or service (to assess selling and presentation skills); then a 1 hour Problem Solving group exercise with other candidates 4-5, where I observe their Interactive Competence, Decision Making and Leadership Skills. The session concludes with a 30-minute feedback session, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and a Personal Development Plan for each Job Candidate.

This is a detailed what to do, but not a how to do it. BMAC Consulting has developed seven Key Performance indicators for Sales Managers, based on over 30 Constructs or measures, which are built from over 100 sub-constructs. In measuring several Hundred Sales Managers, our conclusions were Tenure is NOT a success indicator, Success in one people; product/market is NOT a success indicator in a different People, Product/Market situation.
Only Sales Managing, Leadership and Coaching behaviours gave a clear success indicator.

The most expensive mistake in Sales is Recruiting the wrong Sales Manager; it can devastate Sales in their team. If you would like to used a validated method, then please contact Brian MacIver

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