Jamaica’s Sales Management Crisis

There has been sales management crisis in Jamaica and the region for a long time. Before now several CEOs and managers may have scoffed at this assertion, calling it absurd, but now, that has changed.

How bad is this crisis?

Over the last 4 months we have been tasked by several companies to recruit their next sales manager or VP of Sales. There are some interesting statistics that has come out of our process to source, engage and place this level of talent.

  • Number of applications received – 300
  • Applicants who completed our best in class sales managers candidate assessment from Think Grow Lead – 97 (32.33%)
  • Applicants meeting minimum assessment criteria for proceeding to interviews – 12 (4%)
  • Candidates assessed as effective, i.e. has 75% of necessary skills and attributes – 3 (1%)

57% of applicants started and failed to complete the assessment. This is a story in and of itself. This speaks to the large number of applicants exposed for either not having the skills or simply lacking the commitment to complete a questionnaire. These are the kind of persons who we do not want to be managing our sales teams.

88% of assessed applicants were not recommended for an interview. A candidate’s recommendation is based on their scores in 21 competencies across 3 main areas of sales management effectiveness. They are:

  1. The Will to Manage – Do they just want a job or is this their passion? This scoring measures the candidate’s level of desire, commitment, outlook and responsibility in the sales management role
  2. Sales Management DNA – Will their mindset get in the way of them doing what they know to do? This is a measure of 6 mental/behavioral habits
  3. Technical & Structural Sales Management Competencies – Do they know how to coach, motivate, hold people accountable, manage the pipeline, recruit, develop people, leverage a best practice sales process, and close?

75% of the candidates recommended for interviews are weak. They have less than 75% of the competencies and skillsets for the sales management role. They get it wrong on 2 of the 5 days of the week.

This leaves us with only 1% of all applicants that are strong sales management candidates.

Implication for CEO’s/Sales Leaders

Start investing in the development of your Sales Managers. Most of the money you are losing is directly connected to the effectiveness of this role.

In 92% of medium to large companies, less than US$2,000/year is invested in development programs for the sales manager and a vast majority have not had more than 3 days of sales management training in the last 3 years.  

If ever there was a role in business in which a competitive advantage can be gained, this is it.

Implications for HR & Recruiting

The cost of hiring the wrong candidate is estimated to be 3 to 4 times the annual salary for the role. Getting it wrong is costly, and there is an 88% chance of that happening.

HR/Talent Managers and Recruiters need to be able to see who a candidate really is, what they really bring, where they are weak, what the priorities for development are, outside of what they can see from resumes and interviews. Consider using a sales management (not simply psychometric or behavioral) assessment in your recruiting process.

If ever there was an area of HR in which a competitive advantage can be gained, sales recruiting is it.

Implication for Sales Managers, Sales Professionals and Aspiring Sales Professionals.

Develop yourself even if your boss does not see the need – you must take much more responsibility for your own growth. Enroll in a course, get a certification, gain some experience where your progress can be quantified over time.

Of all roles in business, this is the one where the most opportunities lie to earn massively. With great power, comes great responsibility. You must commit to the training that it takes to be extraordinary at this role.

There is a crisis in Sales Management in Jamaica. What are you going to make of it?

Duane Lue-Fung is an award-winning entrepreneur and is the Founder & Chairman of the Caribbean’s #1 Sales Development Company, Think Grow Lead. For more insights on sales & customer experience training, sales recruiting and sales outsourcing please visit TGL’s website. www.tgltrainers.com/ www.tglsalesschool.com or email me your comments at topsalesguruja@gmail.com



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