What is Poor Sales Management Anyway?

October 20, 2015
What is Poor Sales Management Anyway?

A common problem our Sales PlayBook addresses is poor sales management. So when I mention it, I often get: “What? We have a great sales manager!” That’s because the term “sales management” needs a little clarification, so let me do that now.

Sales Management vs. A Sales Manager

To be clear: sales management relates to an activity, not to a person. In fact, sales management is typically most relevant to salespeople. I believe that salespeople should manage how they sell before the sales manager does it.

So what’s a salesperson to do? What can a salesperson do to manage themselves before being told what to do by a sales manager? How can a salesperson clean up their poor sales management habits?

Sales Management for Salespeople

Below is a checklist for what should be managed by salespeople and reinforced by the sales manager (if applicable) for good selling. This comes straight out of our Sales PlayBook:

Daily/As-Needed Checklist

  • Complete tasks and calendar appointments.
  • Adhere to the Prospecting Action Plan.
  • Work opportunities and update their status in the CRM system.
  • Log activities in the CRM system.
  • Review recent changes in the PlayBook.
  • Review tomorrow's tasks and appointments.
  • Develop agendas for all sales calls.
  • Develop and send D.E.A.L. documents after each sales call.
  • Post success stories when appropriate.
  • Update best practices areas in the PlayBook (Problem/Opportunity Matrix, Common Objections & Pushbacks, etc.) when appropriate.

Weekly Checklist

  • Participate in the weekly sales team meeting.
  • Take notes, if assigned, and post them on the team meeting page in the Sales PlayBook.
  • Prepare for planned discussions, when appropriate.
  • Set weekly goals and track accomplishments.
  • Review all opportunities and update the status, if necessary.
  • Meet with your manager to review your goals and opportunities.

Monthly Checklist

  • Develop a monthly Prospecting Action Plan.
  • Review your Prospecting Action Plan with your manager.
  • Review monthly reports provided by your manager.

Quarterly Checklist

  • Review all accounts and reset their Client Evolution (Suspect, Prospect, Customer, Client, Advocate, Partner) status, when appropriate.
  • Develop a quarterly Territory Plan.
  • Review quarterly reports (these include key performance indicators) provided by your manager.

Annual Checklist

  • Prepare for and participate in an annual performance evaluation with your manager.
  • Participate in the annual forecasting process.

Sales Management for Sales Managers:


  • Provide coaching & mentoring.
  • Assist in the development of and adherence to processes.
  • Assign leads to salespeople.
  • Monitor opportunities and activities in CRM system.
  • Monitor industry-wide news to identify prospecting opportunities.
  • Review Playbook and CRM updates for your sales team.

Weekly Checklist

  • Facilitate the weekly sales team meeting, using the best practices described on the Weekly Sales Team Meetings page in the PlayBook.
  • Solicit success stories from your team and document them in the Success Stories page.
  • Review best practices from the PlayBook and update them if applicable.
  • Set activity and opportunity goals and monitor the results.
  • Review your salespeople’s weekly goals & accomplishments and respond when appropriate.
  • Update your individual salesperson’s coaching journals.
  • Conduct one-on-one meetings with each of your salespeople.
  • Run weekly reports out of CRM system and review.
  • Review your team's sales appointments and make sure each has an agenda.
  • Review all new D.E.A.L. documents.

Monthly Checklist

  • Set monthly goals:
    • Number of new D.E.A.L. documents
    • Number of new opportunities
  • Review monthly goals and your team's performance on the previous month's goals.
  • Review each salesperson's Advocate and Partner accounts to make sure they are being supported according to the quarterly territory plan.
  • Review your salespeople's prospecting action plans and provide feedback.
  • Review company performance with the entire management team.
  • Run and review monthly sales reports.

Quarterly Checklist

  • Set quarterly goals and review your team's performance on the previous quarter's goals.
  • Run and review quarterly sales reports.
  • Manage your sales team as they review their accounts according to the Client Evolution model and adjust them if necessary.
  • Develop territory plans with your salespeople, specifying both sales and marketing activity.
  • Prepare and deliver quarterly performance management reports to each sales team member.

Annual Checklist

  • Deliver sales team bonuses and awards.
  • Prepare and deliver annual performance management reports to each sales team member.
  • Set annual revenue goals for your department or area and for each salesperson.
  • Set annual budget for your department or area.
  • Meet with the entire management team to set goals and align on strategies for the coming year.

I hope these lists help as you manage your sales activities. As you have no doubt heard many times before: practice makes perfect.

Happy selling!

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1 Comment

  • R Konsavage - Reply

    This is a great example of pure subject-matter expertise.

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