2017 State of Sales Management Training Research Report

8 Aug 17

Why we conducted a sales management research report, the current state of sales management training, and other key insights to improve sales performance.

Our new report confirms the importance of developing sales managers to improve sales performance. This is something that the principals of the Sales Readiness Group already knew from their work with hundreds of sales organizations.

Based on this premise, last year they wrote The High-Impact Sales Manager book as a practical guide to help sales managers improve sales performance.

As a follow up to the book, they wanted to see if a survey could support what they anecdotally already knew with data. So, the Sales Readiness Group collaborated with Selling Power Magazine to conduct a sales management research study.

The study received 400 responses from more than 20 industries. Forty-four percent of respondents are from companies with more than $ 51 million in annual sales, with 55% listing their job function as sales leaders.

Report objectives included helping senior sales executives gain the following insights:

  • The current state of sales management across different sales organizations.
  • The most important skills sales managers need to perform their jobs.
  • How to optimize their organization’s sales management initiatives
  • How to benchmark annual investment in training for sales managers
  • The relationship between sales management skills and results

As part of our analysis, we compared organizations with high, average, and low performance based on the percentage of reps that achieve quota.

A key finding was that high-performing organizations are investing more to develop their managers. Specifically, 32% of high-impact sales organizations spend more than $2,000 annually per manager which is considerably more than average or low performing organizations.

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We also found that, while most sales organizations recognize the influence their managers can have on their teams' performance, most leave them on their own to learn how to coach their teams.

In fact, the biggest impediment to implementing a sales management training program was (according to 65% of respondents) competing priorities. And among all respondents, 45% lacked sufficient resources or budget for sales manager training.

While this response did not surprise us, we question what other sales initiatives would have a higher impact on sales performance than training sales managers.

The vision of this report is that you'll use this analysis to make strategic decisions about investing in the development of your sales managers, who are essential to the success of your entire sales organization.


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