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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 is so much training budget spent on developing 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 organisation invest in sales manager training to support salesperson training?
  • If you do invest in sales manager development, what has been the impact on your organisation? 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 a globally recognised expert in instructional design and sales development, sharing his message that it is not about what you learn but what you use. His approach has been adopted by numerous Global 1000 organisations in Australia, England, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and throughout the United States. Dr. Leimbach is Vice President of Global Research and Development for Wilson Learning Worldwide. With more than 25 years in the field, he 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 organisational effectiveness. Dr. Leimbach also developed Wilson Learning’s impact evaluation capability and return on investment models. He has served as a research consultant for a wide variety of global client organisations, is the Editor-in-Chief of the Advances in Developing Human Resources professional journal, and serves on the ISO Technical Committee on Quality Standards for Learning Service Providers. Dr. Leimbach has authored six books, published numerous professional articles, and is a frequent speaker at national and global conferences.

Read more by Michael Leimbach