5 Common Mistakes Every Sales Managers Should Avoid

Are your sales managers leading their sales team competently? Do they know how to train and motivate your sales reps the right way? Your sales reps are performing poorly and you don’t know why. Several factors result in an underperforming sales team. However, to deal with all of those factors a strong sales management is pivotal. Without the right guidance and direction, the success of your sales team might be hindered. Sales managers set the tone for the entire organization. They primarily bring together the skills and competency of sales reps and channel them to realize the company's sales goals. Managers act as a bridge between the execution of the company's goals and the sales reps. So you need to ensure that you have a strong sales management team in place. If you are a sales manager help them develop their skills so they can grow individually as reps and also contribute to the growth of your sales organization. You need to do what it takes to make your team better, while simultaneously making yourself better.

However, here are some mistakes that every sales manager should avoid:

Mistake #1: Being Individual Sales Oriented

Managers experience an adrenaline rush when a big sales deal is closed and the incentives that often come with it. Although it can be tempting, focusing too much on your sales is mistake managers make frequently. As a sales manager, your team’s performance needs to be your topmost priority. You need to help your reps to make their sales. Although you'll still want to manage your quota and build your pipeline, most of your time needs to be devoted to managerial responsibilities.

Mistake #2: Failure to Provide Enough (or Right) Training

It is seen often that managers neglect the training and coaching process of their team. However, as a sales manager, this is your prime responsibility towards your team. It is said, if you keep learning, you will never cease to grow. The same applies to salespeople. They are always looking to incorporate new techniques and skills into their sales process to help them close deals more successfully. Thus, sales managers should arrange one-on-one meetings, role-playing, training books, and shadowing calls to train their team.

Mistake #3: Poor Selection of Quotas

The sales managers use sales quota for motivating their sales team. However, they often make mistakes while setting these quotas. The success of sales quotas depends therefore on the accuracy of data used for forecasting. Sometimes, managers fail to determine the basis of sales forecasting, costs estimates, and other market studies correctly, which leads to a poor selection of quotas for the reps. Thus, the best way to get accurate and effective forecasting is with a customer relationship management (CRM) suite.

Mistake #4: Expecting Too Much

High expectations can be motivating, but only to a certain extent. Managers expect their team to be perfect. However, setting unrealistic expectations is a mistake many sales managers make. Assuming that everyone in your team is talented and knows what you know and will perform accordingly is impractical. To earn your team members trust and respect, you need to acknowledge that no one is perfect and you’re responsible for your team's performance.

Mistake #5: Not Enough Appreciation

Nowaday's employee attrition is a nightmare many organizations deal with. One of the main reasons for employee turnover is they do not feel valued. As a team leader, you must give your reps credit where credit is due. This will not only motivate them to work harder but also increase the level of engagement. Make sure to keep track of what each of your team members is accomplishing and give them appreciation and positive recognition for their contributions.


While there are plenty of mistakes sales managers make while managing a team, these above are the most common ones. But what’s important is to spot and correct these mistakes. Careful planning and forecasting, adequate training, employee recognition, etc. are a few factors that will help you be back on the right track and spark greater success amongst your team. At the end of the day, receiving incentive compensation is the most important thing for any salesperson. As a sales manager, if you can avoid these mistakes, you will help your team to thrive and achieve their goals. Simultaneously, maintaining your legacy as a sales manager. Can you think of any other common mistakes that sales managers make? Feel free to share your views in the comments section below.

About Author

Amit Jain

Sales Compensation Expert, Founder, Mentor - Helping organizations transform their sales incentive programs into growth engines