The ONE Thing That Most Sales Managers Do To Kill Your Salesforce ROI

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“You’ve got an ROI problem with Salesforce and it’s called your Sales Manager.”

I’m speaking directly to you, the Sales Leader and CEO; I’m speaking about getting what you paid for when you chose Salesforce to manage growth in your business. You expected a return on your investment including selling more, faster, with less stress but that’s just not happening like you thought it would.

Sound like your organization? Well, it might be because of your Sales Managers, not your Salesforce implementation. Let me add some context before I rant my way through this short and thought provoking article.

Who is responsible for your ROI problem?

I’ve trained thousands of salespeople in hundreds of companies using Salesforce, as well as other CRMs, and the pattern is always the same; Sales Managers are expected to use Salesforce to manage their sales teams just like you taught them to when you launched Salesforce but the reality is far from that.

What I frequently encounter is that Sales Managers are expected to know how to use Salesforce simply because they are the “Manager”, but the training has left them woefully unprepared for day to day operations.

This is not entirely the Sales Manager’s fault. In fact, it’s not even the fault of the partner, developer, or any one individual that was involved in the process of setting up and managing your Salesforce platform. If we were to blame one person it would have to be the CEO because everything is ultimately their responsibility (or fault if you prefer that word).

I’m not here to dwell on the “blame game.” In sales, time is money, and we need to shift a few things so that you can make more of it using Salesforce.

Back to the Sales Managers.

They are susceptible to a few bad habits that can destroy your Salesforce ROI goals and in this article I want to focus on one of them so that you can eliminate it from your organization.


I’ve seen this one more that I can count; Sales Managers insist that their team continue to send them the same spreadsheets every week that they used to use before getting Salesforce. But why?

Well, I think there are a couple of reasons:

  1. They know how to use the spreadsheet, and quite frankly, they’re effective with that tool.
  2. They try to move as fast with the new system (Salesforce) as they did with the old system and don’t let their team get “up to speed” (or at least communicate the expectation to the team).
  3. They report to leaders that let them report their sales progress in something other than Salesforce.

Wait…what’s that last reason?

Am I saying that they use spreadsheets because their leaders let them?

Yes I am.

When I teach leaders how to coach and communicate more effectively, a common phrase gets thrown around: “What you permit, you promote.”

As a leader that authorized the expenditure on a tool like Salesforce, it amazes me how often they allow others to avoid using the tool that they purchased. Why would they do that?

Most executives tell me:

  • “I don’t use Salesforce”
  • “I just want the revenue”
  • “I have more important things to worry about”

Really? If sales and revenue are important to you, then you need to make sure that your people are equipped and prepared to use the tools that you provide.

You’ve given your team a tool and as the leader you can only expect what you inspect.
If you rely on anything but Salesforce to report on what is happening with sales, then it is totally on you, not them.

So, the one big problem that I see with your Salesforce and your sales potential is that you, the leader, are not doing your job of inspecting what they are doing in Salesforce. As a result, your Sales Managers are doing what they know they can do, and do well, in order to deliver sales.

Unfortunately, they are destroying the productivity potential of your business and they are doing it because you let them.


Stop it. Stop enabling your Sales Managers and team to avoid using Salesforce. Instead, learn to log in, check out and check up on what is happening within your business by using the tool the way it’s supposed to be used.

Save your Sales Manager the hassle of using a spreadsheet to figure out what is going on with sales and instead learn to use the reports and dashboards in Salesforce. It’s better for everyone.

One thought on “The ONE Thing That Most Sales Managers Do To Kill Your Salesforce ROI

  1. SPOT ON! Having seen Salesforce deployed across multiple organizations, it baffles me that leadership allows that behavior. Expectations should be set from the start that the daily/ weekly Sales meeting will be run from the reports and dashboards. This also contributes to increased adoption for organizations just starting out with Salesforce.

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