Research Study Reveals Huge Gaps Between What Sales Managers Believe Will Increase Productivity and What is Actually Being Done About It

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The EcSELL Institute recently released the results of a research study that examined what sales managers’ know will increase sales productivity and what their organizations are doing to support their efforts. The answers are surprising.

The EcSELL Institute recently completed a research study that examined sales managers’ perceptions of how to increase sales productivity versus what they and their organizations are actually doing about it. 89% stated that skill improvement at the sales management level is more important, or as important, as that of their sales producers in improving productivity. Yet only 40% of the companies surveyed provide professional development programs for their sales management teams. 60% claim money and time as the two primary reasons their companies do nothing. Yet recent studies indicate an organization can realize up to 800% ROI when they implement professional development programs. (Source: GeoLearning, Training, Analytics and Human Capital ROI, White paper, 2009)

Sales Managers overwhelmingly believe their companies have an obligation to provide resources to help them improve their skills. Science proves organizations that promote and pursue professional development for their sales managers achieve greater results. Recent research by the Aberdeen Group shows that over half of the “best in class” companies provide development for front line managers, and nearly the entire balance (45%) indicates plans to extend development programs in the future. (Source: Aberdeen Group, Beyond Satisfaction: Engaging Employees to Retain Customers, research paper, 2009)

Additional key research findings include:

  •     Most sales managers believe sales production can be increased.
  •     Of the top three factors/activities that sales managers believe will drive greater production, two are within their complete control. (The US economic condition being the only item out of their control).
  •     Even though sales managers are the key to driving results, less than half have resources that allow them to improve upon those skills specific to driving greater sales revenue.
  •     The vast majority of respondents don’t believe their company cultures promote professional development.

Respondent candidates were chosen from a list of pre-screened (“opt-in”) contacts. Respondent candidates were included in the list based upon their identification as having a leadership role in sales (i.e. by title), with a company generating a minimum of $10M in revenue annually.

EcSELL Institute provides professional development specific to sales management and is committed to providing an efficient process to help sales managers stay abreast of the latest trends, strategies, technologies, and best practices in sales leadership. To receive a complete copy of the EcSELL Institute Sales Management Study Qrt 2, 2009, visit :
Or request a copy at


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Kristi Shoemaker

Will Kloefkorn, Sales Manager
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