I am interested in models and frameworks which help Sales Managers make better decisions, I am sure that every Sales Manager is also interested. I have bought all the books I can find which had Sales Management in their title, and have searched through academic articles yet cannot find any comprehensive models of Sales management? Am I right or am I looking in the wrong place? If any reader knows where I can find Sales management models/frameworks please post a comment.
Do Sales Managers need models and frameworks like their colleagues in marketing? Marketing and marketers have developed models and frameworks which have become legendary; PEST, SWOT, 4P’s, 6P’s to name a few, the development of these frameworks have played a major role in moving marketing from an ‘art’ form focussed on creative content into a science developing and using tools such as CRM, SFA and BI which have put them in the lead in corporate life when compared to sales. I believe that Sales Management needs to develop and adopt frameworks which can proven and refined that will allow sales management to move away from both seeing itself and being an ‘art’ into being a science otherwise it will always be minor player in corporate life.
Some may argue that there are some frameworks in particular areas such as training and SFA? but these models are not supported by hard data or science but are rather emotive reference points covering areas such as learning methods, or even SAF/CRM and the ‘pipeline’ and ‘sales process’ but if either were really data driven models they would offer guaranteed outcomes and they would be one widely accepted method.
Just because things appear to make sense and appear logical it does not mean that they are right or that they will deliver!! SFA is a prime example of something which appears logical, is it good to have a 360 view of the customer and have one central repository? One has to say yes, but for all sorts of reasons SFA has not delivered for the sales managers, if it had it would not have published compliance rates of <50% by the field sales team and a company implementation failure rate estimated at c. 50%.
YES SALES MANAGEMENT NEED MODELS AND FRAMEWORKS,, they need them to both help them understand the day to day decisions they make and direct scarce resources to the best option and as importantly to help them better buy products such as SFA/CRM and training, no less than in the current tight market. I was in a recent meeting with a Marketing Director and a Sales Director to discuss our Sales Management tool www.i-snapshot.com, the relevance of the meeting was the Sales Director told me that their new CRM product did ‘sales management’, the Marketing Director told him it did not do what he was been shown, the Sales Director said ‘but the salesman told me it would do sales management’, but here is the punch line…..he had not asked what it actually delivered, or nor did he have a reference framework to test any sales management claim against and the salesman did not either, this allowed these wild claims to be made with neither the Sales Director or the sales man having any proven reference point.
I will, in future Blogs, explore what a sales management model might look like and what elements of common discussion and myths should be included, some of these are ‘quantity v quality’ and indeed what is meant by quantity and quality? The art or science debate? Which decisions made by a sales manager have the biggest impact on revenue growth and how does this compare to where investments are being made ie. Training and CRM/SFA.