What’s the Payoff for Investing in Your Sales Managers?

By Michael Leimbach, PhD

Recently we took a detailed look at how sales managers can impact the results of sales training. We expected to see an effect, but were surprised ourselves to see how much difference sales manager involvement makes. If managers are on board with the initiative and know how to coach, their involvement can increase the impact of training by as much as 24%.

So then we asked ourselves this question: Why are so many dollars spent on training salespeople and so few spent on the development of their managers? Is it because sales executives:

  • Don’t know the impact that managers can have?
  • Are overly optimistic about their managers’ skills?
  • Believe salesperson training shouldn’t need manager support?
  • Don’t think managers will coach their salespeople anyway?
  • Don’t see value in spending money on manager training?

When I hear this last point I am reminded of the phrase, “penny-wise and pound-foolish.” If manager involvement can increase the impact of sales training by 24% or more, doesn’t it make financial sense to invest in the development of sales managers’ skills?

To help our clients see the payoff they could expect from an investment in their sales managers’ development, we created this little ROI Calculator. Click here to access.

Give it a try and tell us what you think:

  • Why does (or doesn’t) your organization invest in sales manager training to support salesperson training?
  • If you do invest in sales manager development, what has been the impact on your organization? Does the ROI Calculator describe the kinds of outcomes you receive?
  • If you aren’t currently investing in sales manager training, what impact has that decision had?
  • What barriers get in the way of training and developing sales managers?


Michael Leimbach, PhD

Michael Leimbach, PhD, is a globally recognized expert in instructional design and leadership development. As Vice President of Global Research and Development for Wilson Learning Worldwide Inc., he has worked with numerous Global 1000 organizations in Australia, England, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and throughout the United States. Over more than 30 years, Dr. Leimbach had developed Wilson Learning’s diagnostic, learning, and performance improvement capabilities, published over 100 professional articles, coauthored four books, been Editor-in-Chief for the highly acclaimed ADHR research journal, and is a frequent speaker at national and global conferences. He also serves on the ISO Technical Committee (TC232) on Quality Standards for Learning Service Providers and on the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development Dean’s Advisory Board.