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Sales Management Capabilities Framework

Develop diverse sales leadership capabilities to empower sales managers to lead successful teams.

Empower Your Sales Managers to Lead Highly Effective Teams

Sales management is more than just one skill: it requires a dynamic set of capabilities. Today's sales organisation requires sales leaders to wear many hats throughout the day or even in a single conversation. Doing so requires agility.

Since the responsibilities of sales managers are vast, and being truly effective requires expertise across many leadership areas Richardson offers training solutions across a full Sales Management Capability Framework.

What are Sales Management Capabilities?

Sales management capabilities are the combined skills, strategies, knowledge, and resources that managers use to succeed in their roles. These capabilities are essential for helping managers build a strong sales culture, coach with excellence, drive growth using data, motivate reps, and provide useful feedback and recognition.

Richardson's Sales Management Capability Framework

Richardson’s Sales Management Capability Framework is a complete collection of 5 sales management capabilities supported by 15 leadership behaviours managers must master to enhance their team's commercial selling outcomes. They build competencies that enable your managers to perform effectively in their roles to achieve strategic business goals. The Sales Management Capability Framework is brought to life through our NEW Accelerate Sales Performance System, a comprehensive capability-building solution that brings clarity to the most critical skill gaps you need to address to move your manager's ability to deliver against business goals.

Each capability is underpinned by specific leadership behaviours that map to modular, high-impact digital learning assets. Personal learning recommendations are delivered based on real-time performance metrics and capability assessments. Sales managers experience both digital and live training experiences and can access content across multiple formats including video-based modules, knowledge checks, assessments, and real-world practice scenarios to deliver optimum outcomes.

Richardson’s Sales Management Capability Framework is rooted in best practices from Richardson’s deep, broad, and proven curriculum that has been curated over 45 years, is science-backed, and isolates the skills needed to improve results.

graphic showing the sales management capabilities framework that maps out the 5 capabilities and 15 behaviors discussed in the following sections of this article.

Sales Management Capabilities

Sales management capabilities fall into five categories, each tied to a specific aspect of effective sales leadership:

  • Coaching Excellence
  • Delivering Data-driven Growth
  • Providing Feedback and Recognition
  • Providing Motivational Leadership
  • Building a Sales Culture

These capabilities are supported by 25 specific behaviours. Here, we explain each capability and the behaviours that support them.

Coaching Excellence

Coaching excellence is the capability of sales managers to support sales team members in their professional growth by planning and facilitating tailored coaching conversations designed to improve their skills and capabilities. To achieve coaching excellence sales managers must master the following behaviours:

  • Strategise Coaching Sessions: Plan coaching sessions to engage sellers, minimise defensiveness, ask thought-provoking questions, and share thoughtful perspectives, feedback, and ideas. 
  • Initiate Purposeful Coaching Conversations: Set the tone for a productive, open, and collaborative coaching conversation.
  • Collaborate on Areas for Growth: Get the salesperson's opinion of their strengths and gaps before offering your own.
  • Delve into the Why: Help sellers self-discover the underlying issue(s) that prevent improved performance.
  • Cocreate Ideas for Improvement: Help sellers brainstorm and evaluate options for addressing the root issues and to own the decision on the best course of action.
  • Conclude with Commitment: End the coaching conversation with a clear commitment to specific behaviours and actions that will strengthen the salesperson's performance.
  • Reflect and Follow Up: Create an atmosphere of accountability, continual learning, and incremental growth.
  • Coach Across Different Environments: Adapt your coaching approach for in-person and remote coaching interactions.

Richardson's Accelerate Sales Performance System is more than a solution for training your sales managers, it's also a solution that helps them get better at coaching. When the solution is rolled out across each level of the organisation managers can use intuitive dashboards to monitor the capability gaps at the team and individual level, enabling them to more precisely coach their team to their next level of success. Find out more by clicking here.

Delivering Data-driven Growth

Driving growth with data means analysing and optimising sales pipelines to ensure the efficient progression of opportunities through the sales process while accurately forecasting future sales performance. To drive growth using data sales managers must master the following behaviours:

  • Optimise Pipeline Production: Organise, monitor, and optimise the flow of opportunities through the stages of the sales process at both team and individual levels.
  • Assess and Strategise Key Opportunities: Evaluate key opportunities with a salesperson to validate their current status and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
  • Improve Forecast Accuracy: Maintain accurate team forecasts as per the organisation's schedule.

Providing Feedback and Recognition

To foster a culture of appreciation and development with their teams through continuous feedback and growth-oriented questioning sales managers must master the following behaviours:

  • Harness the Power of Effective Feedback: Create a safe environment to foster openness to feedback from both the salesperson and the manager.
  • Inspire Growth Through Questions: Help sellers self-assess and self-discover ways to leverage their strengths and improve performance through effective problem-solving.
  • Energise with Appreciation: Give positive feedback on a specific accomplishment by a salesperson.
  • Maximise Coachable Moments: Take advantage of coaching opportunities even when time is limited.

Providing Motivational Leadership

Providing motivational leadership requires managers to lead by example and empower each person in their team to excel in their roles, meet performance expectations, and contribute to the team's success. To provide motivational leadership sales managers must master the following behaviours:

  • Facilitate Dynamic Team Meetings: Create a consistent, effective meeting with the sales team where engagement is increased through fun, participation, recognition, and valuable activities.
  • Manage Different People Differently: Assess and leverage the individual needs and preferences of each salesperson to personalise their management approach.
  • Motivate Team Members: Gain insight into each salesperson's motivation to determine the best actions to drive desired behaviours and outcomes.
  • Maximise One-on-one Meeting Impact: Build confidence and skill in areas that increase success in each salesperson's role.
  • Address Difficult Issues with Team Members: Prepare for and conduct a conversation where behaviour change is necessary, but coaching hasn’t been effective and it's too soon for disciplinary measures.
  • Elevate Field Performance: Prepare to observe, and offer feedback to salespeople on their areas of strength and areas for improvement.
Building a Sales Culture

Building a sales culture requires the capability to cultivate a collaborative and supportive work environment that enables sales teams to successfully achieve their targets and objectives. To build a sales culture sales managers must master the following behaviours:

  • Strengthen Sales Culture: Establish sales leadership disciplines and accountability among the sales team to create a stronger sales team culture leading to increased results.
  • Sustain Coaching Values: Create an environment where coaching practices become a natural part of day-to-day interactions within the team.
  • Orchestrate a Winning Team: Ensure the team has the right balance of people to achieve short and long-term goals.
  • Drive Salesperson Accountability: Hold salespeople accountable for their commitments, actions, activities, and ultimately, the business results.
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