Don’t Forget to Coach the Coaches
The titles Sales Executive and Sales Manager have become so interchangeable that most people working in sales – including many who should know better – believe they’re the same thing. Spoiler Alert: They are definitely not the same thing!
As is so often the case in business today, many companies have combined the responsibilities of these two senior sales positions into one role – usually to reduce payroll costs. However, this move can backfire as the two jobs require different skill sets and it is not easy to find one person with an equal aptitude for both (think introvert versus extrovert).
In general, Sales Managers are inwardly focused as they supervise the daily management of a company’s sales staff while Sales Executives are outwardly focused responsible for a company’s overall sales strategy and developing client relationships.
Sales Managers vs Sales Executives
The Manager: Sales Managers are only as good as the teams they manage. They must define tasks, set achievable objectives and maintain control over their teams. Good people skills alone are not enough. They need to be pragmatic and take a logical approach to planning for success and helping their teams maximize results.
A Sales Manager must translate a company’s mission, values and vision into a clear game-plan that their teams can get excited about and devote themselves to. If they get it right, a manager can transform a mediocre sales team into an effective selling machine in little to no time.
This must be the primary goal for any Sales Manager as they are only as good as their team. Revenue generation is the No. 1 goal for any sales team and it is the manager’s job to make sure targets are being met or exceeded. The manager’s job is to make sure their entire team is rowing in the same direction towards the company’s sales goals.
Sales Leadership & Management Training Topics
The Sales Coaching Institute’s sales leadership training topics are listed below. We customize each of our training sessions to ensure the most important topics for your organization are covered in-depth.
Requires Scaling New Heights in Sales Coaching and Management Performance
In contrast, Sales Executives – in addition to being responsible for sales strategy – are usually the key point of contact between an organization and its clients. Their typical responsibilities include:
- Attending trade shows and conferences
- Organizing sales visits
- Keeping accurate records
- Setting monthly or annual targets
- Demonstrating and presenting products
- Generating new business
- Performance reviews
- Contract negotiations
A truly gifted Sales Executive can be difficult for companies to identify from within their existing talent pool because so many of the skills they will need to be successful in their new role are not evident if they are currently a rank and file member of your sales team.
On the other hand, Sales managers are relatively straightforward to identify because they have successfully climbed through the ranks of your sales team and they are intimately familiar with how things work from the inside out.
Just be aware that if you are forced to promote a salesperson and give them both sets of responsibilities, things might not go smoothly if they do not have a natural aptitude for thinking and planning proactively to grow your organization from the outside in.
As most leading companies know, finding those promoted employees the right executive sales coaching programs, executive sales coaching training and executive sales leadership coaching programs to develop and enhance new skills is critical to their success.
These companies are generally also very good at providing access to ongoing training and coaching to their existing sales executives, so they can continue to improve and provide increasingly greater value to the company.
The skills needed to be an effective salesperson or manager are simply not the same as those required to be a successful sales executive and leader. By not providing access to executive sales coaching programs, executive sales coaching training and executive sales leadership coaching programs, companies are limiting their employees’ chances of being successful and hurting themselves in the process.
Who Benefits from The Sales Coaching Institute’s Sales Leadership Training?
Any valued member of your team you want to grow into a sales leadership role
An underperforming sales manager who misses revenue goals or has an unfocused team
Someone new to the leadership role, who doesn’t yet have the skills or tools to properly lead
A skilled sales leader whose attitude can use some adjustment, so they can realize their true potential