Smart Sales Manager

The Ultimate Playbook for Building and Running a High-Performance Inside Sales Team

 Smart Sales Manager

Author: Josiane Chriqui Feigon
Pub Date: July 2013
Print Edition: $19.95
Print ISBN: 9780814437384
Page Count: 272
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814432846

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You have a $75 million sales quota for the quarter, and you are responsible

for managing and driving revenues for your team of 14 direct

reports. You’ve got a full team of lead development, inside sales,

and renewals reps. You manage a unique, complex system of CRM,

tools, processes, talent, and technology that powers the organization.

Your job is to make sure that your people are running on all cylinders

and at maximum capacity—charging forward, making tons of calls

every day, and closing all the deals in their pipeline. It should be a

snap, right? But . . . that’s not exactly the case, and you’re not exactly

sure where to start to fix that.


If you’re like most managers today, you were promoted because

of your skills as an individual contributor and thrown into your job

with little or no management training. It would be so easy if you could

just grab your reps’ customer calls and show them how it’s done. But

your young team is impatient—the members just want answers. Now.


Meanwhile, 25 percent of your deals don’t close because of “no decision,”

only 40 percent of your team is actually making quota, and

win rates are under 50 percent due to significant discounting. New

prospects won’t pick up the phone, your loyal customers are canceling

appointments left and right, and that phone buzz you love to hear has

been replaced with the punctuated silence of clicking keyboards.


So far, your survival strategy is to just keep moving ahead while

looking in your rear-view mirror on the theory that what was done

in the past has to work sometimes. But managing a high-performing

inside sales team in the dynamic Sales 2.0 ecosystem—a digital, diverse,

connected world where customers do their own research and

talent expects work to be F-U-N—requires you to have all the answers,

in a Siri sort of way.




Inside sales has burst through the cubicle walls with seemingly unstoppable

momentum. In fact, it’s on course to overtake and, even,

replace field sales by 2015. The need for more inside sales managers

usually means that top sales reps are being promoted—but as with so

many promotions, many managers are in way over their heads. They

know sales, but they don’t know managing sales. The pressure from

above for these managers to produce numbers can be crushing—and

the training provided is minimal to none.


As social selling, digital communications, and innovative visual

content take the place of simple cold calling, the new inside sales organization

has become a large, complex, and delicate operation that

needs skilled management to make it run effectively, efficiently, and

profitably. Everything is different in this new world: New customers

who want to self-educate and who buy on their own sales cycle, not

yours. New tech-savvy talent who hate the phone and want it all now.

New tools that seem to proliferate faster than you can keep track of

them, let alone learn them. And, new prospecting rules and even metrics

that turn everything you know upside down.


Managing these organizations and these young diverse teams is

increasingly more complicated. The old rules absolutely do not apply.

A whopping 90 percent of managers used to be individual contributors,

but the skills that got them there aren’t the ones they will use in

their leadership roles. So they are scrambling to figure out the best

way to effectively manage and drive revenues with their teams.

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