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Sales Managers play a critical role in driving organisaitonal success. They create and implement sales strategies; lead, motivate and develop their sales team; and ensure the integration of the sales function with the broader business.

With this in mind, IDA created the Sales Management Academy as a resource to assist Sales Managers develop the capability to be successful.
IDA services include:

  • Applied Research – to identify sales management best practices
  • Workshops and coaching – to strengthen capability
  • Assessments – including Sales Capability Audits and Sales Force Assessment tools
  • Networking events – to learn from peers


IDA Sales Manager Effectiveness Research Study

The picture is familiar to many companies. There is a significant focus on growing sales revenue as the marketplace is increasingly competitive. However, it’s harder to differentiate offerings and win rates are declining.

The messages we consistently hear from companies include:

“We traditionally focussed most of our energy on developing and motivating the sales force. That approach is losing its effectiveness”
“We know that great Sales Managers have an impact on their teams. We just don’t know what “great” looks like”
“We keep making the same mistake – promote our best sales person into Sales Manager role, tell them to keep selling, don’t provide much help then wonder why their team struggles”

With this in mind, we designed a survey to identify what do great Sales Managers do differently.

We know the Sales Managers role is important, but also difficult. Therefore, where should they focus their energy to optimise their sales success?

This survey was unique in three ways:

  • It involved over 160 Sales Managers from 14 multi-national companies
  • The survey was co-created with company sponsors to ensure it would be relevant
  • We used statistical correlations and regression models to identify what specific sales management practices have the greatest impact on success



  • The greatest challenge is Time. The Sales Manager role is typically hectic with demands from the team, the business and customers.
  • The greatest frustration is high administration and internal processes. These often appear to make it difficult to serve the customer and support their team.
  • The hardest mindset change is shifting role from “sales person” to “Sales Manager”. This is more difficult when the Sales Manager has a personal sales target as well as managing their team.

Our research found that Successful Sales Managers did four things well:

1. LEAD :- This is the critical differentiator. It is the ability to have effective 1:1 meetings, understand how to motivate their team and creating a high performing team.

2. DEVELOP :- Great Sales Managers use the three main touch points (structured 1:1 meetings, In Field Coaching and sales team meetings) to develop the sales team capability. They focused on “lead indicators” (such as skill development, planning and reviewing sales activities) rather than “lag indicators” (such as reviewing results)

3. RHYTHM :- Working to a clear Sales Operating Rhythm is the only way to stay focused amidst constant “noise”. Great Sales Managers ensure consistent processes and develop their team.

4. OWN :- Great Sales Managers empower their team, but also hold them to account to ensure they deliver. They challenge sellers to focus on higher margin opportunities and can have difficult conversations.

The biggest research surprise was that structured 1:1 meetings were twice as effective as In Field Coaching in driving sales success. However, most companies focus their greatest effort on developing In Field Coaching skills.

Key practices Great Sales Managers do Differently


Enter your email to download full report – “IDA Sales Manager Effectiveness Research Report”


Enter your email address to download the “Sales Management Excellence : What do Great Sales Managers do Differently” article (based upon the research findings)


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