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The Accidental Sales Manager A Survival Guide for CEO’s (or owners or presidents) Who Find Themselves Managing Salespeople by Suzanne Paling

Suzanne Paling

Author’s Bio

Suzanne Paling is the principal consultant of Sales Management Services, with more than twenty years of experience in sales consulting, sales management, and sales for both field and inside sales organizations.

Paling founded Sales Management Services in 1998 to provide practical advice to business executives, owners, and entrepreneurs seeking to increase their revenue and improve their sales organization’s performance. Sales Management Services’ roster of clients includes companies in the software, construction, medical, telecommunications, manufacturing, delivery, and the recruiting industries

A respected voice on the topic of sales, Paling has contributed articles to Mass High Tech, The Boston Business Journal, Women’s Business, and discussing a variety of sales topics. She publishes Sales Management Tips, a monthly newsletter for sales management executives.

Paling appears regularly as a panelist for the Women’s Enterprise Initiative (WEI), offering advice to small businesses as well as serving as an instructor at the CEO Boot Camp, a seminar for presidents of emerging growth organizations. She makes frequent presentations to local area business groups such as The Mass Technology Leadership Council on the subject of hiring and managing salespeople. She is a former Vice President of Membership and Board member of the Society of Professional Consultants.

Book Synopsis

Owners of small businesses experience frustration when dealing with sales. Many manage employees in other departments effectively and feel confused when basic management principals come up short with the sales function. Often, they spend little time with the Sales Department – and the results show. In The Accidental Sales Manager, each chapter begins with a story highlighting a common problem that occurs when managing sales people. These typical sales management dilemmas are demystified through easy to understand templates, checklists, and worksheets. This information gives business owners the confidence to effectively manage the sales function.

Why readers should buy your book and what they will get out of it after reading it?

Entrepreneurs will see that struggling with the sales function is common for small business owners. It’s not an absence of intelligence or ability just a lack of experience and appropriate training. This book provides the advice and tools to start managing as opposed to being managed by the sales organization.

Why did you write this book?

When I started my consulting practice in 1997, I noticed trends among the entrepreneurs I was working with such as: offering new salespeople little in the way of sales and product training, not understanding the difference between the pipeline and the sales forecast, and struggling to set realistic and achievable goals for the sales representatives. Based on my observations, I decided to write the book.

Do you do speaking events? what are some common ones that you do on a regular basis? What do you talk about?

I speak primarily at CEO Roundtable type meetings. The attendee’s usually ask me to speak about hiring a salesperson and or compensation. A lot of misconceptions about how to hire and compensate sales reps exist among this group. They’ve all made mistakes in the past and want to improve their track record.

Do you do your own marketing or PR? What is a good marketing / PR strategy for a budding author?

Entrepreneur published my book and they have assisted me in the marketing end of things. I’ve written articles and participated in radio and blog interviews to promote the book.

Do you tweet, facebook fan page, myspace friend or use any other social media to get the word out?

LinkedIn –

What is the one thing that you did right?

When first starting out, many consultants try to be all things to all people. My first few clients would often ask me to help them in areas like marketing and customer service. I always turned offers for other types of work down and stayed focused on my core competency: managing salespeople.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

I had to create a system for billing my clients. Having never handled that end of the business before, it was challenging at first.

What book(s) have you read that you would recommend to others ?

Some of my favorite sales books include:

Selling to VITO by Anthony Parinello Smart Calling by Art Sobczak Stop Telling Start Selling by Linda Richardson Ask Questions Get Sales by Stephan Schiffman

Some of my favorite sales management books include:

Compensating the Salesforce by David Cichelli Sales Coaching by Linda Richardson Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions by Keith Rosen Execution by Bossidy and Charan

Suzanne Paling

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