Sales Coaching Blog

What 90% of Sales Managers Do Wrong

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

January 23, 2012

Your job as a sales manager is to get things done. A study done by academics Heike Bruch and the late Sumantra Ghoshal  from London, investigated what they called "decisive purposeful action." Most companies, far from being hives of busy, effective executives, could instead be seen as "a few isolated islands of action amid an ocean of inaction," the researchers found. Does this ring any bells? Here are the highlights from their study.

Read the full article "Study: Most Managers are Ineffective"

Only about 10 percent of the managers took purposeful action." The remainder were busy, just not very effective: 40 percent were energetic but unfocused; 30 percent had low energy, little focus and tended to procrastinate; and 10% were focused, but not very energetic.

No wonder most businesses are so unproductive. What all of this suggests, is that we waste most of the human resources we hire. The people around us are either unfocused (they don't know how to use their energy), uninspired (they've lost their energy), or distant (they'd rather think than do.) Leadership is about galvanizing this potential and getting it to move effectively in the right direction.

The 40 percent who are energetic but unfocused are the ones you have to work on. They want to do useful work and are up for a challenge. They just don't know where to start or how to prioritize. When you have a coherent strategy, you give this energy meaningful direction. Unfocused energy is rarely the fault of the individual. Rather, it's an indication that your strategy isn't sufficiently understood or being translated into goals.

The 30 percent who have low energy and little focus are tough nuts to crack. Did they start well and just run out of steam? Are they in the wrong jobs or the wrong company? There's a high likelihood they started out in the energetic 40 percent cohort but became disillusioned and disengaged by their inability to have an impact. Your best hope is that galvanizing the 40 percent creates enough draw within the organization that the best of these get swept along.

You have the power to change this! 

1. Take the first step by making a commitment to yourself and your team around professional and personal development. 

2. Understand what actions have the greatest impact on sales performance.

3. Learn how to lead coach your team with purposeful intention, using the right skills.

If you need help with all this, that is where EcSELL Institute can help.  Learn more by visiting our website and/or take that first step and attend our Summit which is focused on developing your coaching and leadership skills.  Or attend our Sales Management Academy. We will teach you how to motivate your team to take purposeful action.

Why do you think only 10% act with purposeful intention?

Topics: Career Development, sales management research, Motivating Sales Team, Accountability Coaching

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