Over the past few days, I have been crunching numbers with our recent Manager Activity Survey. Currently, my work with this data has centered on the role experience plays for sales managers. As probably easily guessed (or theorized), our survey data shows that as the years of experience as a sales manager increases, so does self-rating of overall ability as a sales manager. In other words, the longer a sales manager is in their management role, the more likely they are to report that they have excellent sales manager skills.
I think we could all agree that experience is vital to our development. As sales managers, we become more comfortable and confident as we experiment with and then practice those behaviors in which we find success. We engage in trial and error on a daily basis. Changes in technology, products, the economy and organizational personnel all add to the complexity of this process of gaining experience.
Where does this leave those managers who are newer to their roles? Is the take-home message from this data that one must just put in their dues/years until they mature into a manager with excellent abilities?
While time may be needed to make us feel more confident in our abilities, I strongly believe our competency can be increased using resources around us. Applying Jung’s line of thinking, the process of gaining experience can be accelerated when we chose to act rather than react. While striving to become better in your role may not take place overnight, incorporating behaviors already found to be successful can reduce some of the growing pains to improvement. Having an understanding of which questions to ask reps, how to increase motivation, and how to make team meetings more effective are all examples of topics that can help you improve by simply using resources already available. Don’t reinvent the wheel on your road to experience. You can accelerate your growth more quickly and beyond predicted outcomes by choosing to make your development a priority.
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