Welcome to Episode 38 of the The Winner's Guide to Sales Coaching.

We welcome Mike Kunkle, VP Sales Transformation Services at Fastlane US, a Digital Transformation Inc Company, to the podcast to share strategies for enabling sales managers with the technology, tools and resources they need to more efficiently lead their teams. 

Mike and Ambition Director of Client Services Mark McWatters discuss key findings from their vast client bases, which include many of today's leading B2B sales organizations, and share best practices for empowering sales managers. 

Ep. 38: The Call for Sales Manager Enablement

Interview Topics 

Introductions. 0:00 - 3:10.

Mike is a training and organization effectiveness leader with special expertise in sales force transformation. After his initial years on the frontline in sales and sales management, Mike spent the next 22 years as a corporate manager or consultant, leading departments and projects with one purpose – improve sales results. Using top-producer analysis, sales analytics, sales training, sales process implementation, organization effectiveness practices, sales leadership development, aligning sales performance ecosystem levers, implementing The Four Sales Systems, and leading change efforts, Mike has helped sales organizations achieve annual revenue growth of up to $400 million dollars through the execution of his strategies.

The Need for Sales Management Enablement. 3:10 - 10:50. 

Mike has spent years training and consulting modern B2B sales teams. In recent years, sales enablement has become en vogue, with sales teams adopting all kinds of tools to equip their reps and help them sell better. But hey - sales leaders need automation, too

sales manager enablement

Over time, it's dawned on Mike that managers lack anything similar. Sales reps have tools like sales automation (Outreach), click-to-call VoIP systems (Tenfold), lead scoring (Infer) and Learning Management (Brainshark). As John Barrows said, the modern sales rep can operate like Iron Man to maximize his or her effectiveness. Managers lack similar augmentation.  

The ROI of Sales Manager Enablement. 10:50 - 13:00. 

Earlier this year, CSO Insights published a report on Sales Manager Enablement. Among respondents, the average win rates for forecasted deals were 46.2%.

sales manager enablement

The study participants who invested less than $500 per manager annually on sales manager training achieved a slightly lower-than-average win rate. By contrast, organizations who invested more than $5,000 per manager annually on sales manager training achieved a win rate of 51.4%. According to Kunkle, if he had a dollar to spend on sales organization training, he would spend 75 cents on managers.   

A Parable on Sales Manager Enablement. 13:00 - 18:50. 

In this article for Selling Power, Mike shared a powerful real-world anecdote illustrating the need for sales manager enablement. A senior sales leader at a mid-market technology firm once approached Mike, concerned that his frontline sales managers weren’t coaching due to a recent survey with lackluster feedback from reps.

sales coaching

The leader wanted me to train his managers to be effective coaches. Instead, I reviewed the survey results, set up conference calls with the frontline managers and their sales leaders, did a focus group that laid out all the things managers were being asked to do, and documented estimates for how long each should take. It turned out managers were being asked to fit 110 hours of work in a week - so they ended up prioritizing their focus based on what executives were reviewing – none of which centered on coaching or performance management.

Upon Kunkle’s recommendation, the company implemented a massive overhaul in its sales management strategy. Manager training on the new strategy was completed in late Q1. By the end of Q4, the company “had a top-line revenue lift of more than 34 percent, finishing the year over quota, reported a decrease in rep turnover, and achieved faster ramp-up times for new sales hires.”

How to Enable Sales Managers (ROAM). 18:50 - 24:53. 

Mike uses ROAM (results, objectives, activity, methodology) method as a way for managers to figure out where and what to coach, to get the greatest possible lift in results. To do that, managers should review reps’ results and compare them with objectives in order to identify shortfalls. He suggests targeting the biggest shortfalls first.  

ROAM sales coaching

Source: How I Use Ambition. ChowNow VP Sales Drew Woodcock.

Mike has successfully implemented this in his organization by - for example - looking at the conversion ratios of opportunities as they move through the pipeline, segmented by top producers, middle performers, and laggards. But it's time-consuming and arduous to create these without proper training and technology.

First Steps to Sales Manager  Enablement. 24:53 - 33:16. 

Mike's advice: go get help. Most sales leaders don't have degrees in organizational psychology. They need to seek out help and lay foundations of competencies for sales managers based on known best practices and top producer analysis of the sales managers in your organization. What do they do to get results through their team? Then, assess your current sales force against those. 


Mike also believes in systems and operating rhythms to create consistent execution of sales organization initiatives. Check out some of his writings on that there.

How to Follow Mike. 33:16 - 36:05.

You can find Mike's aggregated writings and social media on his website at mikekunkle.com/connect/. If someone wants specific help, contact mike.kunkle@fastlaneus.com

See 360° Salesforce KPIs in Real-Time with Ambition

Modern sales leaders use Ambition to enhance Salesforce KPI visibility and run supercharged sales reports, scorecards, contests, and TVs.

salesforce sales metrics

Ambition has helped improve Salesforce KPI visibility for the likes of WayfairFiveStars, and Filemaker, and holds the distinction as the first sales management platform endorsed by Harvard Business Review,

Want bright lights on your Salesforce KPIs? Contact us.

The Sales Influencer Series Library

To check out further episodes and see why CloserIQ has ranked the Sales Influencer Series as one of the very best sales podcasts of 2016, just click on the links below. 

Episode 1. John Barrows

Episode 2. Lori Richardson

Episode 3. Max Altschuler

Episode 4. Matt Heinz

Episode 5. Mark Leslie

Episode 6. Kyle Porter

Episode 7. Jon Bradford

Episode 8. Eks Anderson

Episode 9. Matt Hottle

Episode 10. Heather Morgan

Episode 11. Ilan Ferdman

Episode 12. Ryan Jenkins

Episode 13. Tamara Schenk

Episode 14. Mike Weinberg

Episode 15. Scott Britton

Episode 16. Mark Kosoglow

Episode 17. Dionne Mischler

Episode 18. Ken Barton

Episode 19. Kevin Karner

Episode 20. Jill Rowley

Episode 21. Brandon Redlinger

Episode 22. Will Wickey

Episode 23. Drew Woodcock

Episode 24. Dail Wilson

Episode 25. Nathan Sexton

Episode 26. Tucker Max

Episode 27. Bruce Tulgan

Episode 28. Dallas Hogensen

Episode 29. Morgan J. Ingram

Episode 30. J. Ryan Williams

Episode 31. Emily Mikailli

Episode 32. Lee Bartlett

Episode 33. Rex Biberston

Episode 34. Marcus Cauchi

Episode 35. Gary Vaynerchuk

Episode 36. Joe Gianni

Episode 37. Jason R. Jordan

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