How Managers Help Salespeople Exceed Their Quotas

Not every good sales rep can elevate to greatness on their own, but a good manager can help them get there through training and mentorship.

Written by Avery Komlofske
Published on Dec. 14, 2022
How Managers Help Salespeople Exceed Their Quotas
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Less than a quarter of salespeople exceeded their quota last year.

That’s according to a survey conducted by Sales Insights Lab, a data-driven sales training organization.

The 24.3 percent who went above and beyond expectations didn’t do so by luck, either. Sales Insights Lab reviewed over 20,000 conversations by sales reps, and it’s clear from that data that top performers simply do things differently. Their calls are longer, they ask and receive more questions, they speak slower and they get their prospective customers talking more.

Many of these skills can be taught, and a good manager can help salespeople improve through training and mentorship. A sales manager should have the experience necessary to teach their representatives the techniques of top performers and the patience and empathy to guide them through crucial moments of growth.

Devin Duke, sales director at data-backed commercial real estate platform Crexi, has several techniques for honing their sales acumen. First, he sets up role-play training for new hires with senior account executives; second, he presents them with challenging scenarios early on, while they’re still in learning mode. He also sets his reps up for success in those challenges by managing with service-mindedness and understanding.

“I stay hands-on, set clear objectives and do not micro-manage,” said Duke. 

In his conversation with Built In LA, he spoke more about what makes a great salesperson and how he helps his team get to that level.


Devin Duke
Director of Sales • Crexi


In your experience, what are the traits, experience, skills or mindsets that define a successful salesperson?

The three traits that separate a good salesperson from a great salesperson are the ability to relate to the client and treat them as a peer, to go the extra mile and meet your clients in-person — getting creative as necessary — and to create the urgency to quickly guide potential clients to a sale.


How do you help your reps develop their own sales acumen?.

I rely on two exercises to help develop sales acumen.

First, role play and objection handling: I set up multiple 1-on-1 trainings with senior account executives (AE) and new hires in their first few weeks on the job. This is the quickest way for a new AE to develop confidence on the phone and learn about the product. Second, I place new hires in tough, character-building situations early on. Examples include having to make multiple follow up calls asking for business or getting a client to sign a DocuSign on the call.

I tell all my direct reports that I work for them first, and they can see that within the first week of working with me.”


As a manager of salespeople, what's a lesson you've learned that helps you bring out the best in your direct reports?

I tell all my direct reports that I work for them first, and they can see that within the first week of working with me. This has helped me not only gain my teams’ trust, but it creates a relationship where they want to work for me as well.


Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via listed companies and Shutterstock.

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