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  • Writer's pictureBrian Shea

Remember When Sales Leaders Prioritized Closing Deals?

Every sales manager remembers the famous Glengarry Glen Ross quotes including "Let's talk about something important! Put that coffee down!! Coffee's for closers only"

But where did the focus on closing deals go?

Gartner recently reported that 83% of sellers are reporting medium to high drag caused by being assigned non selling tasks and duties by their leaders. As a result, 89% of today's B2B sellers are burned out and 54% are actively job seeking. "A players"(translation: the best sellers) are usually the first ones to jump ship.

So when did these non selling habits begin? In 2020, Gartner published their findings from a front line sales leader survey. The bottom 25% of managers spend more time completing internal facing tasks and projects. The top 25% of sales leaders spent the majority of their time on market facing, deal driving motions.

The #1 activity of low performing sales managers is creating reports for senior leaders. Let that sink in.

There appears to be correlation between low performing sales managers and burdened sellers. Can a case be made for causation as well?

Each year, millions of dollars are spent on sales processes, sales tools, and sales training. And performance doesn't improve.

Throwing more money at the problem won't fix sales performance or seller retention. Not even a Cadillac is likely to move the needle. "As you all know, first prize is Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody wanna see second prize? Second prize's a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired."

So how do you shift to high impact, external focused activities for your sales managers?

I shared my thoughts here:

Brian Shea



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