Sales Managers Focus on What You Can Control

Sales managers want to do well. Most people in any occupation usually try to become the best they can. To help sales managers become the best they can, help them step-back and objectively analyze where they currently are, and where they want to be.

Understanding this gap can lead to a great discussion about what they need to know and do to improve their performance. Sales managers must objectively analyze their performance against existing benchmarks from their organization or their profession as a whole. They must also understand what their current performance situation is and how to mitigate any weaknesses. Sometimes they need to realize whom their performance is impacting.

To encourage salespeople to take stock, here's a helpful discussion guide. With sales managers, having a reflective and purposeful discussion can go a long way to building performance-centered relationships between management and individual contributor.

  1. What results are we currently achieving together? Are we where we need to be?

  2. What are the desired results of managers and individual contributor salespeople?

  3. What do we think about the gap between our current situation and expectations of us?

  4. What is that impact of that gap to me, to us?

  5. What can we control, and what can we spend more time on to be more successful together?

Usually, a controllable skills gap is defined as the absence of the expected results. To help sales managers take action, help them focus on their outputs and interactions. An output is something they create as they seek to deliver the final deliverable produce or offer to buyers. These outputs can take the form of something communicated, something thought, or something physically created. To close any gap in performance, help sales managers change what they usually do and change their output(s) -- and correct or improve them -- to get results.

What about conversations? If sales managers aren't producing the right sales results, look at what conversations they are having. Where are they spending their time? And to whom are they talking? Engaging in the right conversations can help them crack the code on sales productivity.

About Growth Matters Growth Matters is an international business founded in 2011. This consulting and services organization focusses on the development and practice of sales management and sales enablement. Our team of world-renowned experts spans the globe enabling businesses to improve sales conversations through services and solutions aligned to sales strategy. Charlotte, NC (USA) is the headquarter of our Americas operation. With dedicated offices in South Africa (EMEA), and Sydney (APAC), we regularly facilitate senior-level workshops in 17+ cities and countries. For more information on equipping sales managers, and aligning to sales leadership, contact the Growth Matters team at

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