I was discussing with a senior manager of a potential new client recently the company’s organizational structure. They have multiple branches with general managers, but no dedicated sales managers. We discussed the merits of that structure, which are limited. The only beneficial issue is that the company saves on compensation for the missing sales managers. The downside issues are numerous. At best, the GMs are part time sales managers. It is hard enough to get full time sales managers to do all the things that will predictably increase sales, like: coach every single salesperson weekly, hold them all accountable to activity standards, motivate salespeople the way they need motivated, recruit new salespeople constantly, and mentor those individuals that can be groomed into more expansive roles. The negative financial impact of these missing behaviors can be enormous. There might be savings on the sales manager’s compensation, but the lack of sales growth will wipe out those savings.
This situation is no different than with the many company owners that I meet who also run their sales organizations. They are pulled in so many different directions that they cannot pay appropriate attention to those people charged with growing their businesses. There are many owners who believe that if they just hire the right individual, they SHOULD not have to manage them. Whether they believe they should or should not do it doesn’t matter much. They MUST manage, coach, hold salespeople accountable, motivate, and mentor their salespeople constantly. It is a full-time job when executed well, and the sales results will follow if the right sales manager is hired. This impact is so pronounced that I have found it futile to consult with organizations that do not have dedicated sales managers.