Great sales managers are vital to the organizations they work for. Following these seven tips will help you become a stronger sales manager. Read on.
Leading a sales team isn’t as easy as it seems. Many great teams fail because of an ineffective leader who wasn’t up to the task. As a sales manager yourself, you’re probably scared to let your team down. You absolutely want to better yourself so you can help them succeed and help your organization grow. Luckily, a great sales manager isn’t born great—he can learn all the skills needed to be a strong leader.
Here are seven tips you can use to become a better sales manager.
Being a sales manager can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to do on a daily basis with limited time and resources. Not only must you get your day-to-day work done, but you also have to always think about the needs of tomorrow, the next month, and the next year. When so much work is getting piled up, it can be easy to lose focus and lose sight of the bigger picture.
The solution to this is to set goals and priorities. You need to be organized if you expect to succeed as a sales manager. Setting daily and monthly goals can help you decide which task is the most important to complete and in what order you should tackle your tasks, so you don’t waste too much time on unimportant work and fail to dedicate the required time to the big stuff.
A great sales manager will have the absolute trust of the team working under him. To build trust, you should respect and accommodate the needs of your sales reps, be consistent and transparent, and be fair—don’t play favourites, use scapegoats, or be unduly harsh on some of your team members. Be constructive in your criticism; never attack a sales rep personally. Be realistic in your goals and expectations. Your sales people will do their best work when they believe that they are valued by their sales manager.
As the sales manager, you’re still part of the team. Don’t forget that. You should be helping your salespeople succeed, not waiting for them to fail. Provide them with the tools, resources, and support they need to overcome their weaknesses and improve their strengths. Give them responsibilities that fit their talents and play off of their aptitudes—and then everyone will win.
Everything isn’t going to go perfectly all of the time. Whether you’re making a mistake or your sales rep has failed at a task, take it as an opportunity for learning and growth. Mistakes should be acknowledged and rectified as soon as possible—not hidden, hoping they go away. Don’t assign blame or get angry, or your team might hide future problems from you, which can be far more detrimental.
A sales manager is nothing without his team. When it’s time to recruit and hire new talent, stay committed to hiring the best talent available. Don’t settle for mediocre or you’ll be dealing with the consequences of that decision for months or years to come. It might take more time, resources, and money to hire the best new sales rep, but it will be worth it in the end. Take your time and find someone who is a cultural fit and has the traits of a successful sales person.
The best sales manager is one who coaches his team. Individually coaching of your sales reps, using different learning styles and methods, will allow you to drive productivity and increase confidence. Take every opportunity you can find, both scheduled and unscheduled, to provide feedback and coach your reps.
Sales can be incredibly stressful. A great sales manager celebrates the wins—both big and small. This will keep your sales team motivated and enthusiastic to keep performing at their best.
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.