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Top Performance in Sales Management

What the Best Sales Managers Do Differently

In our analysis of Top-Performing Sales Organizations, we learned that 66% of companies don't believe their managers have the skills to manage and coach sellers.

Across the board, there's an overall lack of confidence in sales managers' ability to drive change with their teams, lead masterful coaching conversations, and maximize seller results and performance.

But what about the sales managers who get it right? 

In this research, we set out to learn what Top-Performing Sales Managers and coaches do differently. We wanted to know how they work with sellers, what skills they have, and if some skills are more important than others.

This global, year-long study from the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research of 1,004 sales managers and sellers focused on the role of the sales manager and how they support their teams. In total, we studied 624 sales managers—333 who both manage and sell, and 291 who manage exclusively—and 380 sellers. 

Learn What Top-Performing Sales Managers Do

Learn What Top-Performing Sales Managers Do

Top-Performing Sales Managers provide coaching and guidance that motivates sellers for high productivity and performance. Our research analyzes key behaviors of these managers and other factors contributing to their success.

The Impact of Coaching

The Impact of Sales Coaching

Beyond the day-to-day responsibilities of sales management, sales leaders need to be proactive about developing their teams. We researched the coaching methods and frequency that contribute to top performance.

Benchmark Your Organization

Benchmark Your Organization

We can benchmark your organization against our proprietary database of Top Performers. You'll learn how your team stacks up and where your gaps are. We’ll then build you a plan to transform your leaders into Top Performers.

Questions Answered in This Report

Top-Performance in Sales Management

  • How do we define top performance in sales management?
  • What do the managers of top-performing sales teams do differently than other sales managers?
  • Where do managers and sellers see eye to eye regarding what the best sales managers do? Where do they differ?
  • Can the skills and behaviors of Top-Performing Sales Managers be learned?
  • What’s the business impact for sales teams with Top-Performing Sales Managers?
  • What makes for the most productive sales teams?

Top-Performing Sales Manager Model

  • What are the roles Top-Performing Sales Managers fulfill better than other managers?
  • Which roles are critically important to sales management success that are rarely discussed and focused on with sales managers?
  • What drives manager confidence and why is it so important?
  • What drives manager effectiveness in the eyes of sellers and why does it matter?

Impact of Coaching

  • Does coaching rhythm and frequency make a difference in sales performance?
  • How should coaching be combined with other approaches for the greatest impact on sales success?
  • What’s more important for most companies to change: frequency of coaching or specific coaching skills?

The Top-Performing Sales ManagerSM Model

We studied 100 skills and behaviors across 12 categories in three areas: selling, productivity, and sales management and coaching. 

We found that sales manager success can be summed up in 3 words: rhythm, roles, and conversations.


Top Performers are 51% more likely to have regular, ongoing coaching.


Top Performers are 40% more likely to be skilled at leading valuable coaching meetings.


The 10 roles (5 coaching-focused, 5 management-focused) are all statistically validated as 10 critical areas where Top-Performing Sales Managers excel versus other managers.


The Top-Performing Sales Manager Model

Effective Sales Management Contributes Significantly to Top Performance


Top Performers are 71% more likely to have a manager who excels at motivating for high productivity and


Top Performers are 51% more likely to receive coaching on a regular schedule.


Sellers with less than 5 years' experience are 240% more likely to be Top Performers when they have an effective manager.

Top-Performing Sales Managers support sellers in their development and help new sellers get up to speed. Our research uncovers exactly what they do to achieve these results and provides tips to help you join their ranks. Download the report now. >>

Top-Performing Sales Manager Report

In our Top-Performing Sales Manager Benchmark Report, we share the results of our research, including:

  • The #1 skill separating Top-Performing Sales Managers from other managers
  • The difference in win rate for teams with Top-Performing Sales Managers
  • The types of coaching conversations that organizations should prioritize
  • The roles that are critically important to sales management success
  • The best way to ensure new sellers become Top Performers (this stat alone is worth reading the report)

This is a must-read report for anyone looking to improve the performance of their sales managers and coaches. There are critical changes you can make today that will have a dramatic impact on your sales results this quarter.

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