In my past roles as a salesperson and later as a marketing executive at a handful of different companies, I interacted on a daily basis with sales managers up to the vice president level.
All of these people had been successful individual contributors early in their careers. Because they had met their sales quotas and were among top producers, they were promoted into junior management positions as player/coaches, and then the ones who did well at this level were promoted to director and then VP level, where they managed a few dozen to hundreds of people in their sales teams.
I recall that sales managers spent a great deal of time managing the metrics of the people in their teams, with data showing how many cold calls were made, how many leads were followed up on, and the number of meetings booked, all of which were predictive of sales success.
Managers must realize that when salespeople are interacting on Twitter or updating their LinkedIn profiles, this activity is more likely to contribute toward eventual sales than cold-calling a buyer.
At some organizations, using social networking services during work hours is banned. This is ridiculous, of course. But even in those organizations where it isn’t an outright policy violation, many sales managers don’t allow time for social networking or give credit to the people who use social media effectively to build business.
Much more on this topic available in my presentation The New Rules of Selling on SlideShare as well as in my latest book The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business.