Should Sales Managers Carry an Individual Sales Quota?

Are your Sales Manager’s properly utilized to make your number?  Nearly 50% of sales managers will miss their team quota due to the role being structured incorrectly. Learn the sales manager role cadence.

Too many Sales Managers miss their quota. To access emerging best practices for Sales Process design, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Sales Process phase on pages 279 – 281 of the workbook.


There is a myriad of excuses as to why sales managers miss their number.  The quota is too big, too many direct reports, not enough training, wrong talent, not enough leads, etc.  The number one factor is job corruption and poor allocation of time.

Sales managers typically spend 45% of their time on administrative tasks, internal meetings, and forecasting.  Knowing this, the remaining 55% of the time must be laser-focused on developing their direct reports.


Conversely, some may argue that the sales manager is the best sales resource and should, therefore, use a portion of this time to close big deals.

In other words, your Sales Manager should have some “Super Rep” responsibilities.  The answer is no.  Giving the sales manager an individual quota is a strategy focused on driving short-term revenue.


Typically, one sales manager oversees somewhere between 6 and 10 sales resources.  The multiplier effect of transferring knowledge to those resources has a much larger impact than trying to be a super rep.

Keeping the sales manager focused on coaching and developing is also a more sustainable approach.  If the sales manager leaves the position, so does the knowledge and skills he or she possesses.  Transferring knowledge leads to consistent long-term results and helps create a bench within the sales team for future promotion opportunities.


Below is an example of the activities a front line sales manager role should be performing on a monthly basis and the competencies required to be an effective leader and coach.


 Sales Management Monthly Activities:


sales manager activities 


Leadership Competencies:


  1. Decision Quality
  2. Strategic Agility
  3. Conflict Management
  4. Action Oriented
  5. Intellectual Horsepower
  6. Building Effective Teams
  7. Integrity and Trust
  8. Personal Learning
  9. Peer Relationships
  10. Organizational Agility
  11. Dealing with Ambiguity

These leadership competencies should be assessed when filling Sales Manager roles.  Notice that they are not focused on the leader’s ability to sell, but instead focused on the interpersonal skills that translate to effective leadership and coaching skills.



Shift selling activities out of the sales manager role that is not focused on team development as part of your sales force structure plan.

Build a cadence that ensures Sales Managers are using multiple coaching and training touchpoints to develop their teams. Once you assess a leader’s competencies and define the role properly you need a process to onboard new leaders.


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