Following our attendance at the recent Objective Management Group International Partners Conference, we have decided to share more of the great data from OMG’s data warehouse. This week we wanted to share some of the findings about sales managers.

The graphic below highlights the fact that experienced sales managers are only marginally better than less experienced sales managers. What may come as a surprise are the average scores for sales managers with more than 25 years’ experience, 25 years’ experience in the same industry and 25 years’ service with the same company. 25 years’ experience does not guarantee a great sales manager nor does industry experience. Those sales managers who have moved around are better than those who have stayed with one company.

Younger and less experienced sales managers could provide you with hidden gems. This graphic demonstrates that hiring for experience and in particular sector experience could be having a negative impact on your ability to grow your salespeople.


sales management competency scores by experience


So what do other global sales experts have to say about these findings, Paul O’Donohue, CEO of Sales Star commented: “When I first saw this data I was surprised to see that experience of 25 years did not account for a major improvement in some of the core sales management capabilities. Maybe the less experienced sales managers are getting modern effective training and sales coaching and long-serving sales manager are resting on their laurels. What I know for sure is that we need to remove the guesswork out of recruiting Sales Managers for this very reason and use sales science for selection.”

Dave Kurlan, Founder and CEO of Objective Management Group commented: “One of the things that this data shows is that companies fail to train their sales managers, often providing either the same sales training they give to their salespeople, or more commonly, no training.  Sales managers need a tremendous amount of training and coaching on how to coach up their salespeople.”

Greg Gladman, MD of Sales Leadership and Performance commented: “We are discussing this all the time with our clients. Once we can convince them to give an SM from a different background a crack. No baggage, no industry bad habits and they ask a lot of questions to understand why it’s being done that way. I now have many clients that won’t hire sales managers and people from there industry for that very reason.”

So if you are a CEO, MD or Sales Leader, what impact are these findings having on your impact to grow sales?