TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • Successful sales managers do not tolerate mediocrity. They set clear performance standards for salespeople, and then effectively apply those standards to correct poor sales performance. Unsuccessful sales managers and successful sales managers are different in one important way: when unsuccessful managers become aware of poor sales rep performance, they take no action. By doing nothing managers [....

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • This blog is part of TopLine Leadership’s series called Sales Coaching 101. On the first Tuesday of every month, we’ll cover a fundamental skill that helps sales managers interact more effectively with their sales reps. __________________________________ One of my mantras when working with sales managers is “prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.” And diagnosis takes observation. [...] The...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • One of the trickiest times in coaching is when sales reps have been on your team for a few months. They’re starting to get a handle on how your process works, how to connect with customers, and how to value-sell your offerings. They are starting to produce results. The post How To Motivate Sales Reps That Are Already Performing Well appeared first on TopLine Leadership.

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • I recently ran across an article in Forbes from January 2016 called “15 Surprising Things Productive People Do Differently.” It was written by Kevin Kruse, based on 200 interviews he’d done with what he called “ultra-productive” people, including famous billionaires and business leaders. The post Two Surprising Ways Sales Managers Can Become More Productive appeared first on TopLine Leadership.

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • “Yesterday was just kind of a crazy day,” the sales manager said to me. “We were getting ready for a big client meeting, and I felt like I was playing whack-a-mole all day. I was on a conference call in the morning when a sales rep texted me. I texted her back saying I was [...] The post A Coaching Pep Talk From a Busy Sales Manager To Himself appeared first on TopLine Leadership.

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • “Let me help you with this.” That’s the temptation that sales managers face when they are out in the field with a rep. You see or anticipate that they are going astray, so you say, “Let me help. Let me step in. I’ll lead this conversation. I’ll close the deal.” As a client recently confessed [...] The post Confessions of an Overly Helpful Sales Manager appeared first on TopLine Leadership.

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • This blog is part of TopLine Leadership’s series called Sales Coaching 101. On the first Tuesday of every month, we’ll cover a fundamental skill that helps sales managers interact more effectively with their sales reps. __________________________________ One of the trickiest times in coaching is when reps have been on your team for a few months. [...] The post How To Motivate Reps That Are Already...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • I recently ran across an article in Forbes from January 2016 called “15 Surprising Things Productive People Do Differently.” It was written by Kevin Kruse, based on 200 interviews he’d done with what he called “ultra-productive” people, including famous billionaires and business leaders. He asked each person, “What is your number one secret to productivity,” [...] The post Two Surprising Ways to B...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • As anyone knows who regularly reads my blog, I think the most important part of a sales manager’s job is the coaching they provide to sales reps. To make sure those conversations lead to lasting improvement (= more and bigger sales) and aren’t dismissed as Monday morning quarterbacking, here are 7 essentials for better sales [...] The post 7 Essentials for Better Sales Coaching Conversations appea...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • A universal problem I see in sales managers is an unconscious bias they bring to sale rep evaluation. Yes, they all look at the numbers, the monthly or quarterly results. But beyond the numbers, their judgment of how well a rep is doing is based in part on how much effort they’ve put into a [...] The post Eliminate the Bias in Sales Rep Evaluations appeared first on TopLine Leadership.

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • This blog is part of TopLine Leadership’s new series called Sales Coaching 101. On the first Tuesday of every month, we’ll cover a fundamental skill that helps sales managers interact more effectively with their sales reps. __________________________________ Learning how to sell value is critical in today’s market. To be effective at this task, salespeople need [...] The post Teaching the 4 Basic ...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • In my workshops with sales managers—former reps promoted into leadership positions—I always ask them to think back over their career and identify their “worst boss ever.” Here are the four most common types of managers that fall into that category and examples of their behaviors. The Passive-Aggressive Manager — The most frequent “worst boss” that [...] The post 4 Things The Best Sales Managers Al...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • For the past 20-plus years, I’ve made it a habit to ask sales managers, “What is the biggest challenge you face in becoming the best you can be?” The answer is always the same: not enough time. The simple truth is that all of us have the same amount of time in a day. Yet [...] The post The #1 Obstacle Sales Managers Face & How To Overcome It appeared first on TopLine Leadership.

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • As I’m sure you know from personal experience, the single biggest complaint that sales managers make is their lack of time for coaching their reps. Developing clear priorities and managing your time better is, of course, a big part of the solution. A completely different tactic is summarized in a comment that a client recently [...] The post Every Conversation With a Rep Is a Coaching Opportunity ...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • According to the Sales Management Association’s March 2016 Research Report titled “Sales Manager Training,” 41% of companies participating in the survey had allocated zero budget for sales manager training. And of the 59% who did have a budget, half of those companies were delivering only generic management training—nothing specific to leading a sales team. This [...] The post The Costly Impact of...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • A sales director contacted me to talk about an issue he’d noticed with his sales managers. “I was sorting my emails one morning and I saw that all the ones about problems with our accounts were originating from the sales managers not the reps. It was the managers who were taking action to resolve account [...] The post Sales Managers Need to Stop Solving Their Reps’ Problems appeared first on TopL...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • This blog is part of TopLine Leadership’s series called Sales Coaching 101. On the first Tuesday of every month, we’ll cover a fundamental skill that helps sales managers interact more effectively with their sales reps. Many salespeople miss the mark in their proposals and presentations. They’ve been taught that they want to position their company [...] The post 5 Questions to Improve a Rep’s Prop...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • New sales reps are usually excited about their new job and enthusiastic about learning what they need to do in order to succeed. However, they are also prone to think they know more than they really do! Your coaching challenge is to help develop their expertise to a point where it justifies their confidence. Ensure [...] The post Five Keys to Coaching a New Sales Rep appeared first on TopLine Lead...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • The executive sales team at a start-up company recently challenged my contention that sales managers should be spending as much (if not more) time on developmental coaching as they do on account management. The message I got from the executives was: “We’re a young company. We can’t do anything if we don’t have immediate revenue [...] The post Sales Managers Need To Prioritize This One Thing To Dri...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • Every time I ask a group of sales managers what their single biggest challenge is, at least half say “time management.” They describe being inundated with calls, emails, texts, requests from their reps and others outside their department, and on and on. I talk often about how the skills that make people successful as sales [...] The post It’s Better for Sales Managers to Avoid Multitasking Than to...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • There aren’t many companies today that sell a commodity, where price is the sole basis for a purchasing decision, or that have such a unique offering that they can name their own price. That means most of us fall into the arena where the way we sell and how closely we connect with a customer [...] The post How Do You Rate Your Sales Team’s Customer Focus? appeared first on TopLine Leadership.

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • I’ve discovered in recent years that it’s not enough for me to ask sales managers if they are coaching their team. Everyone answers “yes”— though most admit they’d like to have time to do more! But then when I probe further, I find that their understanding of “coaching” and my understanding are vastly different. In [...] The post 3 Ways to Tell If You’re a Sales Coach or Just a Critic appeared fir...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • In the six months since my newest book was published, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about why the title refers to “greatness” (as in The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness). The genesis of the title came from my own personal experience and my observations of thousands of sales managers. All of us were at [...] The post Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Great Sales Manager? appeared first on TopLi...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • An interviewer recently asked me to imagine that I’d just been hired as the Director of Sales at a company whose sales have stalled out. The CEO, naturally, is anxious to hit the reset button, to get things back on track as quickly as possible. “Your first week on the job, Kevin,” said the interviewer, [...] The post How to Motivate a Derailed Sales Team To Get Back on Track appeared first on TopL...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • In an exercise I conduct in all of my sales management workshops, I have participants identify the coaching needs of one of their sales reps. Almost everyone has an easy time writing down specific ideas for what the rep could do to improve. Then I ask them “How many of you have already communicated these [...] The post 90% of Sales Managers Miss This Crucial Step When Leading Their Teams appeared ...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • Several months after attending one of my sales coaching workshops, a VP of Sales told me that one important takeaways she’d gotten was that she tended to be overly trusting of others. I was a little taken aback since I talk a lot about the importance of sales managers having trust and being trustworthy (here, [...] The post For Accurate Forecasts: Trust, but Verify appeared first on TopLine Leader...

TopLine Leadership
TopLine Leadership
Blog Post
  • Andy Paul, the host of the sales improvement podcast Accelerate!, reminded me on a recent interview about how sales managers are constantly being told to “improve the productivity of their sales team.” Then he asked me whether that improvement should start with the individual salespeople or with the sales manager. My answer is that it [...] The post Does Improved Productivity Start with You or You...

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