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Driving Sales Requires Manpower Planning


Leading a Sales Team and Driving Sales

Bobby Bowden, the former coach of the Florida State Seminoles football team from 1976 to 2009 knows a few things about beating the competition. In addition to coaching the Seminoles to 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and two national titles he finished his career second in all-time wins by a Division 1 football coach with 389 wins.

Bobby Bowden understands that the identifying, evaluating, and successfully recruiting the student-athlete that best meets the needs of the football program is an ongoing challenge coaches face. He summed up its importance when he said

"He who gets the best player usually wins."

The same could be said for leading a sales team - those who surround themselves with the best and most professional sales people win. And it is the conscious effort of manpower planning that allows you to do exactly that.

The best sales managers I have ever been with, frequently evaluate the effectiveness of their people and adjust roles or positions to help the team consistently outperform its competition.

Ask yourself - have you just accepted the roles and territories your sales people have, just because that is where they have always been? Many have. And many are failing to drive sales as a result.

What is Manpower Planning?

manpowerManpower Planning consists of putting the right number of people, the right kind of people, in the right position, at the right time, so they may do the right things for which they are suited, allowing the organization to achieve its goals.

Said another way, Manpower Planning involves reviewing current manpower resources, forecasting future requirements and availability, and taking steps toe ensure that the supply of people and skills meet demand.

In the spirit of effective business planning, top producing sales managers continously evaluate their business in terms of needs going forward versus the manpower they currently have. They then plan, as Bobby Bowden says, to have the best players so that they can win.

When is the last time you honestly assessed:

  • The number of sales reps you need to maximize potential?
  • The qualities of the people you need to meet market and customer demands?
  • The territories your sales reps have responsibilities for, and how a restructuring could help drive sales?
  • What your future manpower needs will be?
  • Your efforts to attract the skilled talent you'll need in the future?

Go on. Go get the best players. Put them in the right position. Be Bobby Bowden and win!


For more sales management strategies, subscribe to this blog RSS Feed or send us your e-mail and receive our monthly newsletter. Follow me on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn. And, if you are interested in having me speak at your next sales meeting, send us your contact information or call 847-381-7797.


Thanks for sharing information about selling planning online. I really like your post keep it up.
Posted @ Thursday, January 16, 2014 8:08 AM by Cotton Valley
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