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  • Duane Cashin

What Elite Sales Managers Often Miss

Updated: Feb 17



Sales management is not the easiest job in the world. It requires a lot of expertise and skill, not to mention knowing how to handle the ups and downs that come with the job.

Sales managers have a profound impact on their organizations because they are in charge of leading and coaching salespeople -- people who are on the front lines of driving revenue for your organization. And, as we know, that can be a fairly mixed bag of folks! Salespeople come in all forms: strong, mediocre, and downright weak.

When elite sales managers inherit or hire elite salespeople, the results are very predictable: total success. But, what happens when strong leaders inherit or hire a mixed team? Do they make a difference then? Do the best sales managers produce the best teams?

Objective Management Group (OMG), my partner organization, conducted scientific evaluations of the salespeople who report to more than 15,000 sales managers to determine whether the best sales managers actually have the best salespeople. 

The results are surprising: Salespeople reporting to elite sales managers are just 14% stronger overall than those who report to weak sales managers

Are you surprised that the elite sales manager’s reps are not significantly stronger? 

The reason has to do with what elite sales managers most often miss: that mediocre and weak salespeople often cannot be coached because their Sales DNA just doesn’t allow for it.

Elite sales managers tend to have such a tremendous level of confidence in their ability to coach that they often refuse to give up on mediocre and weak salespeople.  They wrongly believe that anyone can be “coached up” given enough time and effort. This is decidedly false.  

A strong Sales DNA score is the greatest predictor of sales performance. 

Similarly, elite sales managers also tend to believe that they don't have to have a “science-based” hiring process and strategy because they can train and coach anyone with a good personality and industry knowledge to become a strong performer. Also false.

Without a doubt, accurate and predictive sales-specific candidate assessments like these are the only sure way to stack the odds in your favor and significantly reduce the headaches of hiring mistakes

What’s the point? While the best sales managers do tend to have better salespeople, the contrast is not nearly as sharp as most of us would expect it to be, and we cannot rely on the skills of an elite sales manager to transform weak or mediocre salespeople. 

Identifying and onboarding the right candidates are critical to driving increased sales revenue. ​ Are you confident your organization is doing it right? Give us a call to discuss. 

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