A member recently shared with me that they’ve estimated the average cost of a single failed sales manager to hover around $4 million, calculating all the direct and indirect costs of lost productivity, attrition or poor team engagement and lackluster customer experience, not to mention recruitment, salary and training costs. Simply put, bad sales managers are toxic.
So, how can we build better managers?
Well, what if we all started with better raw material in the first place — surely prevention is better than cure, right? Some of the best companies follow the principles of Train, Certify and (only then) Promote. Putting manager candidates through their paces BEFORE promotion is much less risky than trying to do so after the fact.
A few years ago, Kohler, the manufacturer of specialized plumbing fixtures, had to let managers go at a rate of 10-12%. It turns out that succeeding as a manager in a more complex sales environment proved too high a “double jump” for its newly promoted reps.
In order to build the right bench of future manager talent — ultimately achieving some truly remarkable results — Kohler developed a “Top Gun” training program that rigorously identifies individual development needs of manager candidates and provides a customized training regimen that includes live training in the field, embedded in the candidate’s typical workflow, and peer support from other Top Gun candidates.
To reduce sales manager failure, Kohler instituted a rigorous three-stage process: Read More »