3 years ago
January 6, 2015

How to Manage A Successful Sales Team‏

A successful sales team requires different sales management tactics than a sales team that is still working on making its name.

Rhys Metler

A successful sales team requires different sales management tactics than a sales team that is still working on making its name. However, that does not mean that a sales manager’s job is any easier with a successful sales team; sales people who are doing well can still do better, but these driven personalities may present challenges to the sales manager who suggests change. Adjust your approach without compromising expectations to help a successful sales team become even more prosperous.

Choose the Right Motivators

What could be more important to a successful sales team than money? Perhaps a few things. Each individual on your sales team has different expectations for themselves and sets expectations for compensation accordingly. This is why sales contests rarely motivate every individual on the team; there will always be a few who want something else. If your sales team is successful, you can afford to innovate with varied rewards for excellent performance. Consider what might be achievable in your compensation budget, and ask your sales team for feedback on rewards such as:

  • Additional earned vacation time, be it an afternoon off or entire days
  • Incentivizing sales supportive activities, like increased market share
  • Time with business executives or key industry players arranged by the organization

Coach, Don’t Tell

No matter which department you find them in, not all managers have mastered the divergence between coaching and telling. The distinction is critically important for sales managers, and even more so for sales managers at the helm of a successful sales team. Sales people at the top of their game do not tend to respond well to being told what to do. Yet if you coach them on what to do and allow them to feel that they had input on the solution for making a change, these same sales people will follow your lead. 

Make Available the Tools and Training Sales People Need

Few things can be more frustrating to a successful sales team than feeling stymied by a lack of tools and training. You can do more to prevent this hurdle than anyone else in your organization because you serve as the liaison between the needs of your sales team and the needs of your organization as a whole.

  • If your sales team needs updated CRM software, be their advocate.
  • If your sales team could benefit from updated marketing materials, coordinate an effort to make it happen.
  • Urge your organization to sponsor advanced training for top sales people.

Always Be Raising the Bar

When you ask a successful sales team what it is possible for them to achieve they might not set the bar for the group very high. Yet ask the same question of individual top performers, and the sky is the limit. When managing a successful team you want to encourage those individuals to recognize their contributions to the sales team as a unit so that they begin to see how high the bar can be moved when they are operating together. By working both sides of the equation, you can motivate a successful sales team to achieve far more individually and as a group. You will also be helping your top performers see and support the big picture, a major step in preparing them to take on additional responsibilities in the future.

A successful sales team presents its own set of management challenges. Overcoming these challenges is one of the most satisfactory aspects of a sales manager’s job. Once your sales team reaches success, adjust your management approach to encourage continued achievement so that you can always point to your successful sales team as the strongest possible evidence of your shared abilities.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.