Practitioner How-To Study

Posted by on Aug 13, 2015 in Articles & Reviews | No Comments

Association for Talent Development. (2014). ATD white paper on Developing Sales Managers [Whitepaper]. Retrieved from

ATD Research in collaboration with Revenue Storm created an extremely helpful guide on how-to develop sales managers from “star” representatives (p. 3). Throughout this paper, they illustrate how to make the significant shift it takes to move from only looking out for one’s self to meeting team revenue goals. The Developing Sales Managers study relied on a blended research approach. To obtain the quantitative date, ATD Research sent a survey to learning and sales leaders organizations selling a range of solutions in July 2014. A total of 168 individuals responded to the survey. To supplement the findings, ATD Research conducted telephone interviews with learning leaders from various organizations (p.5).

Through this process, ATD established the aims and boundaries of the sales profession as a whole. Within the sales profession, they identified the role of the sales manager specific responsibilities relating to managing and developing a team of sales representatives. Depending on the nature of the product or service, the study identified other tasks a sales manager may do (p. 6). The final part of the study laid out detailed paths to becoming a Sales Manager which included the skills and knowledge competencies required.

I liked this study because it identified that although sales managers are expected to spend considerable time on coaching and management task, sales managers are much more likely to have mastered selling and account maintenance but are not experts in coaching and managing sales teams/individuals (p.8). This is very true in my career! We (enablement team) struggle to coach and mentor our sales leaders more than the sales representatives. According to this study, 52% of organizations do not have training targeted specifically at new sales managers. Therefore, I appreciated finding this study to re-evaluate how we target new sales managers. This study also had some powerful suggestions for grooming our new sales representatives.

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