The Looming Sales Management Crisis


Asset managers believe their wholesalers are tiebreakers. To win, the human element dominates the playing field, and the odds heavily favor maestros in communication (aka selling) skills. Today’s attention deficits make selling wickedly difficult. Closing requires a wizard of words, sequence, tech, timing and coordination, all with a touch of Zen. I respectfully ask, “Where is the investment in those who will teach, coach and manage this onerous array of soft skills?”

Consider this oxymoron: We are at an inflection point for sales skills, and it looks like there will be fewer sales desk managers.

Recent research from Ignites prompts this rant:

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The stats suggest a DECREASE in the number of managers and an INCREASE in their span of control. This is for desk managers already struggling with change management.

Flat organizations, (when challenged with change), deliver flat results (at best).

The gurus advocate @8 to1 span of control. What’s your number? And a quick sidebar: ARE YOU THINKING THAT A PLAYER COACH REALLY WORKS? Ask any sales desk manager out there. Kind of like open floor designs.

What it takes to sell now is 250lb bench press. If a wholesaler, internal, external or hybrid calls or shows up without the right stuff, the phrase “don’t let the door hit you…” comes to mind.

Sales desk managers need their folks to:

  • Use massive amounts of powerful technology to pinpoint the right people to call (quickly to meet their metrics)

  • Research the web to deliver personalized conversations advisors expect. Think Google, LinkedIn, twitter, websites blogs (without much prep time).

  • Explain how funds fit into a dizzy array of complex portfolios (whoa)

  • Copywrite like a professional to craft emails that are read, and deliver them at the right time (who knew)

  • Coach advisors who have been in the business for a long time and hear a kid on the phone (probably the most important)

  • Become a change management guru (CEOs struggle with this)

Sales manager skill development by osmosis? Kind of like sending a wide receiver out without sticky gloves.

See our on whitepaper sales desk managers.

Call or email for helpful information.

Mary Anne DoggettComment