7 Steps to Success for Sales Managers

May 16th, 2016

7 Steps to Success for Sales Managers

-A book review-

After being a VP of Sales, consulting on sales management for 19 years and after writing four books on sales management, Max Cates, author of 7 Steps caught my attention in the first five pages.

Those of you that have read my reviews before know that I score a book by the number of pages that I fold over the corners that include something I found of value; this book scored 24 folded pages!

Recently I have written a lot about the emotional aspects of sales leadership, Max starts off in the first chapter on First Step: Manage Yourself, with a heading “Self-Management Question Number One: Are you a trusted leader? This emotional connection can only come first when the sales manager is under personal control. The author makes the reader evaluate themselves and understanding that without trust the emotional bond that allows a manager to coach does not exist. Without trust the relationship becomes dysfunctional. Max’s style is to pose a question and then provide the reader the opportunity consider the issue with the examples/case studies and definitions, he focused on “Adaptability, Mental Toughness, Bad-Boss, Ego and EQ”. And that is all in the first 40 pages!

After that Max takes you into what is necessary to build an effective sales culture by giving the sales manager the specific framework on what someone needs to do to actually make it happen. His five steps with real world examples is terrific.

After setting the stage, he moves into Chapter Two, High Performance Teams Begin with Hiring. This is the number one hardest part of being a sales manager and the most important. In the book Max provides the foundation for any sales manager to create the “systems” necessary to hire the right person.  In my book on Recruiting I used the phrase “Hire the Best, Not the Best Available”, Max does an excellent job describing how to do it!  A few of his sub-titles justify this book easily:

  • The Science of Selection
  • Hire for Traits, not Skills
  • The Sixth Dimension
  • Body Language
  • Seven Tiebreakers
  • Red Flags

After we have our teams, as Sales Manager needs to Build a Winning Team, Become a Successful Servant Leader-two more chapters that gave me additional insights into what many sales managers fail to achieve.  Based upon Max’s past experience, he uses TQM as a cornerstone of this total sales management approach and specifically provides the reader 9 main components  of “Flow”. I kept circling and noting the various points throughout chapter four.

In Chapter Five, the author will open your eyes/brain into the power of generating higher levels of performance by creating: Sales Empowerment: Beginning with Ownership. Again he takes a step by step approach to help the reader understand the issues as well as the specifics on how to-do each action:

  1. Give Control to Get Control
  2. Develop By-In
  3. Empowering Your Team to Success
  4. Developing a Self-Managed Sales Team

Max then closes the book on chapters six on: Success Through Performance Measurement and chapter seven on Continuous Improvement, maintaining Success.

What I really liked that many books tend not to do is provide a Conclusion. He summarizes many of his key points with five critical needs of salespeople:

  1. Structure
  2. Challenge
  3. Respect
  4. Involvement
  5. Support

Are you providing these to your team? I hope you are thinking about your sales management performance and what needs updating, I know I was after reading this book.

I highly recommend any sales manager or executive is also their organizations sales manager to buy this book and READ it.  It offers insights into the psychology of sales management as well as tactical actions to take to create a high performance sales organization.


Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2015. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com  www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

This entry was posted on Monday, May 16th, 2016 at 12:17 pm and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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