8 years ago
April 13, 2016

3 Tips to Knowing You’re Ready for Sales Management

Look to these three tips to assist you in determining whether you are ready to move into sales management.

Rhys Metler

Sales management requires leadership abilities, business acumen, and a deep knowledge of sales and the sales process. Since the knowledge base successful sales managers need to have is so broad, those considering sales management as the next step in their careers may well wonder whether or not they are ready to make the transition. If this sounds like you, look to these three tips to assist you in determining whether you are ready to move into sales management.

1. Check That You Have a Thorough Knowledge of Your Business and Industry

There is more to sales management then encouraging sales people to meet targets. To begin with, the sales manager is usually responsible for setting the targets for the sales team and must base those targets on the organization’s goals, the sales team’s capabilities, and industry trends – each and every quarter. To do this successfully sales managers must have a thorough knowledge of an organization’s business and industry, including fundamental knowledge about business standards such as budgeting, risk management, and organizational behavior. Ask yourself the following questions to help assess whether you are ready for sales management:

  • How comfortable are you using standard business terms and applying them in conversation?
  • Do you have enough experience interacting with top executives in decision making to feel confident in your ability to persuade and execute on goals?
  • Can you define in specific terms what your organization’s goal is and its place in its industry?

2. Make Sure You Know Sales Techniques Inside and Out-And Can Impart that Knowledge to Others

Being a top producer is helpful in making the case for readiness to lead, but it is not everything. To prove that you are ready for sales management, you need to know your sales techniques inside and out. This includes sales techniques that you do not ordinarily use as primary methods but that other sales people can use effectively. To be an effective leader in sales management you need to be able to help other sales professionals find the right methods to use at the right time to deliver sales. Check your knowledge of sales techniques by:

  • Imagining scenarios of how you would train others to adopt new techniques that increase close rates, upsells, and earnings margins.
  • Defining your training approaches in industry standard language so that you can confirm that you have a method for helping others achieve success.
  • Doing research on top sales techniques that you might have missed to check for knowledge gaps.

3. Know That You Already Have Experience in Leadership

Effective sales managers all have at least one characteristic in common: they are effective leaders. Effective leadership is built from both knowledge and experience, meaning that if you want to take the leap into sales management, you should start building your leadership experience as early as possible. Experiences such as the following can help qualify you for a sales management position and confirm that you are ready for the next step in your sales career:

  • Assisting in training peers and new sales people, especially formal training that involves a clear chain of responsibility for training results.
  • Mentoring other sales people with less experience over time and on a regular basis.
  • Proven leadership aptitude as demonstrated through your attitude and actions, especially if you can identify specific times when your approach or reaction led to a positive change in mindset for other sales people.

Making the transition from sales to sales management can be a challenge, but if you are ready to take that step partnering with a sales recruitment firm that works with sales management can be a wise choice. Sales recruitment firms that work with organizations to find outstanding sales professionals for sales management positions can help you find the right position for your experience and career goals. Think about contacting a sales recruitment firm to assist you in taking that next step.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ 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 daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.