In recent weeks we have been dealing with a handful of sales managers who all have a different approach to the position.  They are all in different industries, but their sales all have many similarities.

One of the sales managers has progressed the best so far with his new salesperson during the onramping time.  One sales manager has had to fire his salesperson (yes, one we placed) due to many reasons – many of which were the salesperson’s fault.  The third sales manager has been tentative with his salesperson, but she is progressing well.

The one variable that has had the biggest impact on success has been accountability.  The sales manager with the best progress is also the one who has defined the milestones and goals most clearly.  He knows what he wants his new salesperson to accomplish and he has defined the target dates by which he wants it accomplished.

But the key comes back to accountability.  This manager is holding his salesperson accountable to the activities that will guarantee success by those dates.

Here is why accountability is key – if the manager is holding the salesperson accountable, they are involved with the salesperson.  Granted, some sales managers only hold the salespeople accountable through brow-beating forecast/quota meetings.  Yet, I would say that is still better than nothing.

The best sales managers hold the salespeople accountable while working with them to help them reach their goals.  Coaching, strategizing, adjusting, leading…these priorities are normally being accomplished by sales managers who make a priority of holding their people accountable.

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