Unfortunately our experience in working with Australian organisations is very similar. The front line sales managers receive very little training or coaching and are often left to their own devices – sink or swim.
I’ve never been able to put my finger on why this is so. The mindset seems to be that they are highly paid professionals who know everything so we don’t need to invest in their development.
But wouldn’t we say the same about Chartered Accountants? But don’t they commit to a program of ongoing learning and development?
I personally believe fault lies with the company and the sales manager.
1. The company has to be mature enough to understand that every employee, regardless of skills, position or self-belief needs ongoing training and development.
2. The sales manager needs to drop the super hero persona and put his or her hand up and acknowledge that they don’t know everything – and that’s its okay to admit you don’t have all the answers.
Your list of core capabilities is really good. Under technology I’d probably introduce a need to understand business/sales data. Too many times I’ve sat down with senior sales managers to discover they have no idea as to what the sales data is telling them – now that’s a whole other blog post… sales pipeline volume vs sales pipeline velocity.
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