One of the most powerful ways to learn is through real stories. The sales management book entitled, “The Sales Leader’s Problem Solver,” by Suzanne M. Paling ( , captures a great deal of what sales managers need to know and do through real life stories. Sales managers need to be effective problem solvers on a day to day basis. They must be able to quickly identify when sales people are struggling, what kind of help they need, and immediately put a plan in place to improve performance. This sounds simple but requires multiple skills, from comparative data analysis through communication and coaching. For a lot of us who are or have been sales managers we know that many of these skills are learned through experience and mentoring, with knowledge transferred through discussions with our peers, and with some amount of formal training. Suzanne has taken her experience and developed a formal approach from problem identification through problem resolution for some of the most common sales issues, like: The Inconsistent Sales Rep, CRM Non-Compliance, Misaligned Territories, and Loosely Defined Sales Cycle, just to name a few. While the book reflects best practices learned over many years of managing it is not about concepts and theory but real life sales problems and a recipe for solving them.  I would also add that the use of comparative analysis is a very powerful tool used as part of that recipe. The book has great value for both experienced as well as new sales managers in any industry. For experienced sales managers there are plenty of peer sharing ideas that you can reference as you address your own management issues. For new sales managers it gives you a sense of what sales management is all about. In fact for anyone thinking of getting into sales management I would highly recommend reading this book as a way of understanding the day in the life of a sales manager.

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