The Right Way to Manage Sales Reps

The best management styles to make sales reps more successful

Good Morning. Tomorrow is the last day of January and for many, the last day to hit this month’s quota. Time to pull out the Hail Marys and hope for a miracle. And just remember, if you fall short, there’s always next month… aka - Thursday.

In today’s Follow Up:

  • The right way to manage sales reps 🤔 

  • Clarify and verify objections 🗣️ 

  • Sales around the internet 🖥️ 

  • Sales jobs, LinkedIn & a sales meme 😂 

The Best Way to Manage Sales Reps

A few months ago, we broke down the difference between sales reps with a learning goal vs a performance goal.

Reps with learning orientation care about developing their selling skills, while performance orientated reps care about being recognized for hitting goals.

The study found that learning orientated sales reps outperform goal oriented reps by 60%. So in short, salespeople who naturally focus on learning perform better.

But how do management styles influence sales reps?

A follow up study was created to find out.

The study surveyed 270 sales reps working for two different Fortune 500 companies. The purpose of the study was to find:

  1. What management style is most likely to create a learning orientation in sales reps?

  2. Can a management style influence a learning and goal orientation?

  3. The impact of management styles on inexperienced vs experienced sales reps.

So to test this, the study identified 3 common management styles:

  1. End-Results Orientation: Managers laser-focused on outcomes. They don’t care much about how reps get there. Only if their reps hit the goal or not.

  2. Activity Orientation: These managers are all about routine activities like calling and emailing. Their main feedback is based on reps hitting their activity goals (or not).

  3. Capability Orientation: Think of them as a coach. Focused on enhancing skills and abilities, rather than specific metrics.

And they’re not mutually exclusive. Managers can use a mixture of styles or different styles depending on the rep their managing.

The Results 🧪 

The study is 13 pages of academic research, and ain’t nobody got time for that. So as your sales bestie, we made the intern read through every single page and pull out what you need to know. Let’s take a look. 👇️ 

I don’t know how to read this, but I think it looks cool. - The Intern

End-result & capability styles are most likely to create a learning orientation in sales reps. They push the rep to figure out how to hit goals on their own and work on their skills.

Activity & end-result styles are most likely to create a performance orientation. By focusing on routine activities and hitting goals, these management styles can push reps to only care about hitting goals and being recognized for them.

Activity orientation managers can be ok for entry-level reps but are bad for experienced reps. By putting too much emphasis on routine activities, this style will push experienced reps away from adopting a learning orientation.

The TLDR ✍️ 

  1. Learning goal oriented reps outperform performance oriented reps because they are focused on getting better, rather than being recognized for hitting goals.

  2. End-result & capability management styles are most likely to push sales reps to adopt a learning goal orientation.

  3. Activity & end-result management styles are most likely to push sales reps to adopt a performance goal orientation.

  4. Experienced and inexperienced sales reps should be managed by different managers with different styles. An activity management style can help inexperienced sales reps sharpen their skills, but is bad for experienced sales reps because it pushes them away from a learning orientation.

What type of management style do you prefer?

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Sales Tip of The Day 💡 

When a prospect gives you an objection, restate and verify it before responding.

🔴 Right now isn’t a good time. Can you reach back out next month?
🟢 No problem. Just to clarify, you’re saying next month a better time to discuss this?

While it might seem repetitive, this can help dig into the real reason behind an objection and uncover more information you can use.

Sales in the News 🗞️ 

Cool Jobs at Cool Companies  

Checking in on LinkedIn 👀 

Wasn’t he supposed to be the chef overseeing operations? 🫠 

Sales Meme of the Day

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