1 year ago
April 13, 2016

3 Tips for New Sales Managers

These tips will help you steer your career as a new sales manager around the hurdles that new sales managers frequently encounter.

Rhys Metler

New sales managers almost always have questions about how to make sure that they are successful, so if this sounds like you, you are not alone. You will be relying on your training and your personal network of mentors and experienced contacts to help you navigate the change, but is natural that you will also want to learn more about what you can do to be a great sales manager   on your own. These tips will help you steer your career as a new sales manager around the hurdles that new sales managers frequently encounter.

Tip #1 for New Sales Managers: Learn to Focus on What is Most Important

New sales managers are often overwhelmed by the volume of needs and requests that can flow through the sales manager’s office in one day. Managing the inflow of information is critical, and depends on your ability to be able to make quick decisions on the relative importance of every issue or request. Lean on the experience of other sales managers and executives for assistance in setting expectations and relative priorities as you develop a system that works for you.

While you are adjusting, you should also remember to avoid the pull to undertake everything that needs to be done on your own. Being responsible for a deliverable means you are responsible for the results, not necessarily the process. Don’t be afraid to delegate – chances are good your previous sales manager delegated frequently.

Tip #2 for New Sales Managers: Let Your Team Do What They Do Best

One of the hardest things for new sales managers to do is to ‘let go’ of the daily tasks for which they were responsible when fulfilling the sales person role. It is important for you to remember that selling is no longer your first priority; it is your team’s priority, and your job is now to help them accomplish that. When you are tempted to jump in and start selling yourself, remember:

  • Your new quota is the quota of all sales team members together. You need to develop and support every individual on your team to get there.
  • The best way for your sales team to reach success is to learn from you, and most sales people learn best by doing. Give them the information and tools they need and let them follow through.
  • If something is not working, it is your prerogative to institute a solution, but you cannot always be the solution alone. Develop your team so that they can work independently and help the team succeed collectively.

Tip #3 for New Sales Managers: Listen to Your Sales Team

New sales managers may think they know exactly what needs to be done in order to remove hurdles for the sales team, having just been in a selling role. However, what you perceived as hurdles and what the sales people now depending on you for leadership view as hurdles may be entirely different. Listening to your sales team will be a crucial aspect of your success as a new sales manager now and as an experienced sales manager later.

  • Make it a first order of business to establish an open door policy with your sales team so that they know you are always available when needed.
  • As soon as possible, institute a regular system of sales team meetings as well as one-on-one meetings with your sales people for discussion and development.
  • Whenever possible, give your sales team the floor to discuss what is important to them in a constructive way.

There is a lot to learn for new sales managers who are entering the management arena for the first time and it can seem more challenging than you might have expected, especially in the first weeks. It may help you to remember that at one point, every manager or executive was among the ranks of new sales managers.

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.