Want to know what makes a sales manager good at what he does? Then keep reading to learn the top ten things great managers have in common.
Just like all sales people aren’t created equally, neither are all sales managers. Having the right person managing your salesforce is critical. It can mean the difference between your team’s success and failure. It can mean the difference between retention and turnover. It can mean the difference between great profits and poor profits.
Luckily, it’s easier than you might think to spot great sales managers while you’re interviewing. There are ten things that all great managers seem to do every day. Look for these traits during the interview, and you’ll choose the right leader for your sales team.
The right manager will not just be a manager, he’ll be a leader and a coach. He’ll put in the time and effort to help his sales people succeed by helping them maximize their individual strengths and overcome their weaknesses. He’ll never be too busy to have one-on-one sales coaching sessions.
In today’s digital age, and with the implementation of inbound marketing in business, sales and marketing must work together to achieve the greatest successes. A great manager understands that collaborating with marketing can improve results. He doesn’t keep his team in a silo. He makes sure that sales and marketing share information and help each other out.
Poor sales managers will set goals and then forget them, only realizing that quotas haven’t been achieved and goals haven’t been met once it’s too late. Great sales managers, on the other hand, understand that they have to track progress and step in if required to help their reps overcome challenges and stay on track.
Managing a stellar sales team first starts with recruiting the best talent. Great managers take the recruiting and hiring process seriously. They take the time required to recruit from many sources, they create a repeatable, proven hiring process, and they always keep an eye out for top talent. They don’t rush through the process or settle for mediocrity just to fill an empty position.
However, a top manager also knows that he must train new hires to help them succeed in their new roles. He’ll offer continuous training opportunities rather than just let the new hires sink or swim.
A good sales manager understands that his sales team is watching him and taking after his behaviours. He won’t come in late, slack off, give up, be negative, or behave unethically. He makes sure to lead by example and becomes the employee that he wants his reps to emulate.
One of the toughest jobs a sales manager has is motivating his salesforce. This is easier said than done. A great manager will come up with contests, bonus structures, and creative incentives to motivate. He’ll also use praise and appreciation to keep spirits up in the department.
Sales people who feel underappreciated, neglected, and ignored will stop working so hard and might even quit. Great sales managers know that they must celebrate the small wins and the big wins in order to make their hard-working and loyal sales reps feel valued and appreciated.
Micromanaging doesn’t help anyone. A good manager understands that he must have trust in his sales team and must allow them to accomplish great things on their own. He promotes autonomy and independence and helps his sales reps succeed in their roles without much supervision or help.
Finally, great managers won’t get frustrated and angry with mistakes and failures, whether it’s their own or their sales people’s errors. Instead, they take these instances as opportunities for coaching, for learning, and for growth. They don’t make excuses for their own mistakes and they don’t place blame.
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.