A Workshop at the University of Houston’s Sales Excellence Institute
Profound changes confront today’s sales organizations, and navigating them will be a responsibility shouldered by sales management. Yet despite the importance of this role, few firms have a complete and coherent vision for what they expect from sales managers, and fewer still are reinforcing desired manager capabilities in hiring, evaluation, and development of sales management talent.
This workshop provides models, benchmark data, and best practice approaches for firms focused on identifying sales managers’ most important skills and competencies, prioritizing their developmental needs, and implementing rigorous standards of management excellence in the sales organization.
- Differentiating between sales and sales management competencies
- A survey of current approaches in sales manager competency modeling, including best practices for their use, their limitations, and their predictive capabilities
- A framework encompassing commonly prescribed sales manager responsibilities with detailed descriptions
- Prioritizing manager skills and competencies important for your organization
- Utilizing the Sales Management Association’s capability framework and internal assessment tools
- Evaluating and integrating third party tools
- Review of research on sales manager training practices including competencies considered important, effectiveness of various training approaches, and best practices in sales manager learning and development.
- Prioritizing investments in sales manager learning and development
Why Focus on Sales Manager Capabilities?
Few corporate functions are changing faster than the sales force. While scrambling to address changing buyer preferences and competitive disruption, sales organizations have restructured jobs, retooled strategy, and recast how they provide value. Sales Management Association research suggests that the magnitude of changes impacting sales forces over the next three years will increase, as will the pace at which those impacts occur. Sales leadership will be chiefly accountable for leading their firms through this change intensive environment. They will be chiefly accountable for anticipating change, designing new approaches to sales strategy, structure, process, and messaging, and will be most able to influence the effective implementation of sales related change initiatives.
Surprisingly, however, many firms cannot articulate a model of sales manager excellence. Instead, they promote from within the sales force, or recruit management talent from outside the firm, but without a coherent standard that describes critical knowledge, skills, and abilities required for sales management’s success. The limitations of this ad hoc approach are compounded in an environment of intensive change, where effective hires of five or 10 years ago may be poorly equipped to lead changes needed today and five years hence, and where previously effective managers may be poorly suited to newly transformed sales organizations.
What is Needed
By establishing a sales manager capability model, firms codify the competencies and skills needed for success. A capability model can then guide talent management, performance appraisal, and learning and development efforts. For the majority of firms confronting transformative changes in the sales function, these models must also cast a forward looking perspective on emerging capabilities expected to have more importance in the future, and must also address the managerial skills required to lead significant change in the organizations.
What Workshop Participants Gain
Workshop participants gain an understanding of leading practice in modeling sales management capabilities, and practical guidance for developing a sales manager capability model within their firm. This includes familiarity with typical sales manager skill and responsibility categories, and strategies for identifying and prioritizing skills and capabilities most important within their organization.
Essential elements of a capability model are detailed, including best practices for describing required sales manager skills, competencies, and capabilities; strategies for building consensus endorsement for essential capabilities across leadership and functional areas within the firm; and approaches for integrating capability frameworks in hiring, job description, performance evaluation, and learning and development.
Who Should Attend
- Senior sales leaders interested in improving sales management capabilities
- Sales operations, enablement, and effectiveness professionals that support sales manager development in their firms
- Senior learning and development professionals responsible for corporate sales leadership development
- HR professionals involved with talent management, career paths, or succession planning in the sales organization