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What's the Payoff for Investing in Your Sales Managers?

(March 15, 2010)

Recently we took a detailed look at how sales managers can impact the results of sales training. We expected to see an effect, but were surprised ourselves to see how much difference sales manager involvement makes. If managers are on board with the initiative and know how to coach, their involvement can increase the impact of training by as much as 24%.

So then we asked ourselves this question: Why are so many dollars spent on training salespeople and so few spent on the development of their managers? Is it because sales executives:

  • Don’t know the impact that managers can have?
  • Are overly optimistic about their managers’ skills?
  • Believe salesperson training shouldn’t need manager support?
  • Don’t think managers will coach their salespeople anyway?
  • Don’t see value in spending money on manager training?

When I hear this last point I am reminded of the phrase, “penny-wise and pound-foolish.” If manager involvement can increase the impact of sales training by 24% or more, doesn’t it make financial sense to invest in the development of sales managers’ skills?

To help our clients see the payoff they could expect from an investment in their sales managers’ development, we created this little ROI Calculator. Click here to access.

Give it a try and tell us what you think:

  • Why does (or doesn’t) your organization invest in sales manager training to support salesperson training?
  • If you do invest in sales manager development, what has been the impact on your organization? Does the ROI Calculator describe the kinds of outcomes you receive?
  • If you aren’t currently investing in sales manager training, what impact has that decision had?
  • What barriers get in the way of training and developing sales managers?
About the Author
Michael Leimbach

Michael Leimbach

Michael Leimbach, Ph.D., is Vice President of Global Research and Development for Wilson Learning Worldwide. Dr. Leimbach provides leadership for researching and designing Wilson Learning’s diagnostic, learning, and performance improvement capabilities. He has managed major research studies in sales, leadership, and organizational effectiveness, and developed Wilson Learning’s learning transfer, impact evaluation, and return on investment models. Dr. Leimbach has consulted for a wide variety of global client organizations, serves on the ISO Technical committee for development of ISO 29999 Standard for Learning Service Providers, and is Editor-in-Chief for Advances in Developing Human Resources. Dr. Leimbach has authored six books, published over 100 professional articles, and is a frequent speaker at national and global conferences.

Read more by Michael Leimbach