October 22nd 2007

The Sales Managers Success Manual. Wayne M, Thomas.

The Sales Managers Success Manual. Wayne M, Thomas. 2008. ISBN 9780814480502. Another superb book from Amacom. This publisher never puts out “just another book”. Thomas brings insight, great research, experience and an easy writing style to the subject. His comments rang true to me in every chapter. This is pure gold.

Chief Sales Officers have a corporate life expectancy shorter than CEOs these days. Its quite unlikely that hiring a new sales manager will “fix” your sales problem. Thomas gives the new and seasoned execs bags and bags of strategies and ideas on how to do this perilous job. The no. one killer behavior? A sales manager who over promises and under delivers is on a dead man walking route. Thomas can show you a fact based approach to forecasting that is very quick and effective.

Thomas also reinforces one of our lessons learned, any change in sales approach, marketing, new training, new product, new market entry requires two full customer sales cycles to measure if it is working or not. Sales managers need to show patience and build up a reputation for being a predictable business partner to the CEO.

Near the back of the book Thomas does a very good analysis of how dead your opportunity is if the product or the market are not compelling. He also presented the clearest explanation of anchoring I have read to date. Anchoring is the basic human nature to fix on a price which then anchors all other discussions. All salesmen know they have to be very cautious about when and where they set the asking price. His explanation is clear and thoughtful and worth the price of the book.

Sales people are optimistic by nature. Thomas gives the sales manager tools, attitudes and approaches to match the optimism with success. He is also deeply into working very closely with marketing for sales effectiveness.

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