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Training vs. Managing Sales People

Training sales reps and managing them are two different tasks. One of the biggest mistakes a sales manager can make is confusing one for the other. Training sales people has to do with giving the actual technical skills necessary to go out on sales calls, present products/services effectively, and of course; make sales. Managing sales people on the other hand deals with organizing them and making sure everyone is on the same page. So in affect, sales people could be trained perfectly, but if they’re poorly managed, they won’t produce the anticipated results.

Managing Equals Metrics

When it comes to managing sales people, we tend to look more at the metrics involved with their sales. Some of the features taken into consideration are:

  • Percentage of sales closed
  • Value of a sales call
  • Expenses being spent to acquire new customers

In other words, it involves looking at the actual measurable aspects of your sales people. This way, instead of just giving them techniques, companies can actually measure how effective the sales people are.

“Sales people aren’t going to be inspired to sell more just because they’re given a new system to try.”

They’re competitive by nature and are focused on trying to outsell the other reps and even surpass their own numbers. To properly manage sales people, that aspect must be embraced.

This can be done by implementing contests where the sales people have to reach a certain goal and they get a reward. Sales people want to see that they’ve beat out other reps, and want to know how much they won by. A competition gives them the perfect opportunity to do that.

Management occurs constantly, Training Is scheduled

Sales training often occurs in the form of workshops, classes, or another scheduled occasion. So the long term affect or impact it has on sales people won’t be as great as the impact of solid management. Since managing sales people occurs on a daily basis, the way that they’re managed will have a greater effect on their long term performance and long term outlook of the company.

Through effective managing, sales teams should be set with goals that they can constantly work towards achieving; therefore the management process never really ends. On the flip side, once a weekend sales workshop is done, the sales rep might completely forget about what they learned or may have never had interest in it to begin with.

Motivation

Some companies send their sales people out to seminars that are supposed to motivate and inspire them to increase sales and work harder. However, this typically only provides temporary satisfaction for the reps, and before long they forgot all about the powerful words they heard that day. This is when sales management comes into play. Managers have to know how to motivate their employees. Luckily for sales people, the key to motivation isn’t tricky or complicated at all. Sales people are motivated by money. The best motivational speech in the world won’t motivate a salesperson like an increase in commission.

The Link between Management and Training

Training sales people and managing them are definitely not isolated activities. Management is encompassed of four essential parts:

  • Planning: establishing goals
  • Organizing: putting a team together
  • Leading: motivating and preparing the sales team to reach the goal
  • Controlling: making sure that the plan is going through and the goal is met

So management develops the training that a sales team undergoes in order to achieve company goals. While training and management of sales people are different, they are also interlinked. In order to get the most out of sales people, they need to have both great training and management.

Byline:

Ofer M. Yourvexel