Accessible Insights: Pocket Sales Manager

Posted July 22, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Troy Harrison, a 15-year-sales-manager-turned-consultant and associate member of TRSA, has penned a concise new guide for sales managers on a range of key topics. The title of this streamlined 72-page book is The Pocket Sales Manager, The Guide to Building and Managing a High Performance Sales Force. It provides insights the writer has gained in the field in his own jobs, including a management stint at AmeriPride Services Inc., as well as advising scores of clients on a consulting basis.

Harrison decided to write this book because he felt there was little out there that focused on the critical “people skills” necessary for a sales manager to succeed, as opposed to advice on administration. The goal is to provide readers with a portable, easily digestible volume that can help new and veteran sales managers hone their skills, according to a news release. 

“When I became a sales manager, I had to figure out for myself how to hire, train, coach and manage my staff,” said Harrison, a two-time consecutive National Champion, with six President’s Club salesperson awards and two National Champion Sales Manager awards. “This book is my way of helping both new and experienced sales managers access the right techniques, so they don’t have to go through the long trial-and-error period that I did.”

The Pocket Sales Manager addresses all phases ofsales management, from evaluation of salespeople and processes, through hiring, training, coaching and accountability.

For example, in the chapter dubbed “Smart Sales Hiring” the author outlines a plan to help sales managers avoid costly mistakes in screening to find the right person for a sales position. Harrison writes that, “Smart Sales Hiring is a Process.” (emphasis in original) “What’s nearly as important as the people you do hire is the group of people you don’t hire. It’s easy to hire the wrong people, particularly in sales. Impulse hires are the enemy of good selling and good sales forces. To be successful in hiring salespeople, you need to have a hiring process that includes multiple types of contact and multiple types of communication coupled with due diligence.”

Other chapters in Harris’ new book address topics such as, “How to Pay Your Salespeople,” “Maximizing Your Training Dollar and “Avoiding Hiring Mistakes.”

The book’s concluding chapter “Reviewing Your People,” offers guidance on performance reviews for sales staff. It provides a detailed overview of how to organize an effective review program, including progress since the last review, goals for the next review period and how to set the proper tone for employee reviews. “The review meeting should be formal, and should have detailed discussion about the elements of the employee’s work,” Harrison writes. “Be prepared with facts and figures as appropriate. Allow your employee to comment verbally and in writing. It’s also important to ask about the employee’s job satisfaction; this is a chance for you to NOT get surprised by employees who are out looking for a job.”

ThePocket Sales Manager is available either in print or e-book formats at a cost of $10. It’s expected to generate the same buzz as Harris’ first book, Sell It Like You Mean It—Outselling Your Customers by Understanding Your Competitors, an Axiom Business Book of the Year nominee. Click here to order, or for more information visit Harrison’s website at