Don’t Fall into These Traps – 5 Activities Sales Managers Should Avoid

Are you a sales manager looking to excel in your role and drive your team to new heights of success? While there are countless strategies and practices that can lead to effective sales management, it’s equally important to be aware of the activities that can hinder your progress. In this article, we’ll explore five common traps that sales managers should avoid.

Activities Sales Managers Should Avoid

Focusing too much on sales

Sales managers are primarily responsible for driving sales and ensuring that their team meets or exceeds their targets. However, focusing too much on sales can be problematic.

Sales managers who prioritize revenue above all else may miss critical issues within their team and organization. One of the biggest challenges faced by sales managers is balancing revenue with other responsibilities.

While it’s crucial to meet sales targets, sales managers have other obligations as well, such as providing coaching and feedback to their team, attending meetings with other departments, and monitoring market trends. When sales managers focus exclusively on driving revenue, they risk neglecting these essential responsibilities.

Additionally, when a sales manager focuses only on hitting sales targets and ignores other duties, they may create a culture that prioritizes individual success over teamwork. Sales manager skills don’t just involve being able to close deals; they also include fostering collaboration and promoting a sense of shared purpose among the team.

Overemphasizing individual performance at the expense of teamwork can ultimately damage morale and make it harder to achieve long-term success. As such, while achieving targets is critical for any sales organization’s success, it should not come at the expense of everything else.

Overlooking responsibilities

Sales managers have a lot on their plates, and sometimes it can be easy for them to overlook some of their responsibilities. For example, they may focus so much on hitting their sales targets that they forget about the administrative tasks that are also part of their job. This can lead to missed deadlines, incomplete reports, and other issues that can negatively impact the team.

In addition to administrative tasks, sales managers also need to be aware of the needs of their team members. They may need training or coaching in certain areas, and it is the responsibility of the sales manager to ensure that this happens.

It’s important for sales managers to take a step back from their own goals and think about how they can support and develop their team members in order to achieve even greater success overall. By overlooking these responsibilities, sales managers risk creating a team that is unprepared or ill-equipped to meet the challenges faced by sales managers every day.

Setting unrealistic expectations for the team

One of the biggest challenges faced by sales managers is setting realistic expectations for their team. Sales managers often want to see immediate results and set aggressive goals that may not be achievable in the short-term.

This can lead to frustration and demotivation among team members who feel like they are not meeting expectations. It’s important for sales managers to set goals that are challenging but attainable, and to communicate those goals clearly to their team.

Sales managers need to take into account factors such as individual skill levels, market conditions, and historical performance when setting expectations for their team. They should also work with their team members to create a plan for achieving those goals, providing guidance and support along the way.

By doing this, sales managers can help their team feel motivated and empowered rather than overwhelmed or discouraged. Ultimately, it’s about finding a balance between pushing your team to succeed while also ensuring that the goals you set are based in reality.

Another mistake sales managers often make when setting expectations is failing to account for external factors that may impact performance. For example, if you’re operating in a highly competitive market or facing economic uncertainty due to COVID-19 pandemic or any other reason – unrealistic expectations can backfire quickly as external factors might hinder the expected results of an effective strategy.

Sales managers need have an open mind towards different scenarios while developing new strategies ad ideas which would help them face any unexpected obstacles thrown at them by the market conditions they operate in as well as focusing on offering unparalleled customer service with product knowledge which are essential skills required by a sales manager . This will give their teams more confidence in achieving targets under changing circumstances while still maintaining quality customer services which would lead towards better results over time and build a stronger reputation within your industry.

Avoiding conflict and awkward conversations

Sales managers are leaders who need to be able to handle difficult conversations with their team members. Avoiding conflict may seem like a good strategy, but it can actually lead to bigger problems down the line.

It’s important for sales managers to address issues as they arise and have open communication with their team members. This will help build trust and respect within the team and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.

One common awkward conversation that sales managers may need to have is addressing underperformance. It’s important for them to approach this conversation in a constructive way, focusing on specific behaviors or actions that need improvement rather than criticizing the person themselves.

Sales managers should work with their team members to develop a plan for improvement and provide support along the way. By addressing underperformance in a timely manner and providing constructive feedback, sales managers can help their team members grow and improve, ultimately benefiting the entire organization.

Another type of awkward conversation that sales managers may face is dealing with interpersonal conflicts between team members. It’s important for them to remain neutral and not take sides, but rather work towards finding a solution that satisfies both parties involved.

Sales managers should encourage open communication between team members and work towards resolving any underlying issues causing conflicts. By handling these situations in a professional manner, sales managers can ensure that their team remains productive and focused on achieving their goals without any distractions or disruptions caused by personal conflicts within the team.

Leading without direction

Sales managers are expected to lead their teams effectively and steer them towards meeting the company’s goals. However, leading without direction is one of the activities that sales managers should avoid.

When a sales manager fails to provide direction, it can lead to confusion among the team members. Without clear guidance, sales reps may not know what tasks are a priority or which activities they should focus on.

Sales managers must establish priorities for their team members and communicate these clearly. Whether it’s setting weekly targets or outlining long-term goals, having a clear direction ensures everyone is working towards the same objective.

Furthermore, providing direction also means providing feedback on performance; this allows reps to identify areas they need to improve on and create strategies that work towards achieving their targets. Leading with direction gives structure and purpose to the team while ensuring everyone is working in sync.

Another essential skill for sales managers is providing guidance when it comes to handling customer interactions and negotiating deals. Experienced reps may have developed techniques that work well for them; however, new hires may lack those skills.

It’s up to the sales manager to provide training and mentorship so that their team develops consistent skills that align with company values – therefore setting your team up for success in reaching its potential as one cohesive unit. Leading without direction can only lead your team astray; while leading with a clear vision helps unify your efforts towards achieving common objectives with purposeful execution and efficiency as an end result – resulting in growth prospects for both yourself as well as any salesperson under your leadership wing!


Sales managers have a lot of responsibilities and challenges to navigate on a daily basis. It’s important for them to avoid certain activities that can harm their team’s success and morale in the long run. By focusing on areas that matter most, sales managers can become effective leaders who inspire their team to achieve great results.

One key takeaway is that sales managers should avoid putting too much emphasis on sales numbers alone. While it’s important to meet targets, it’s equally important to cultivate a positive work environment and build strong relationships with team members.

Sales managers should also take care not to overlook other responsibilities such as coaching, training, and strategizing for long-term success. Another critical aspect is setting realistic expectations for both the team and themselves.

This involves being honest about what can realistically be achieved within certain timeframes as well as giving team members the tools and opportunities they need to succeed. Sales managers should lead with direction by providing clear goals and objectives while also being open to feedback from their team.

Being a successful sales manager requires more than just hitting sales targets – it involves mastering a range of skills such as leadership, communication, coaching, planning, and more. By avoiding the common pitfalls discussed in this article and focusing on continual improvement through training and development programs, sales managers can improve their performance while helping their teams reach new heights of success.