8 years ago
April 13, 2016

7 Things Proactive Sales Managers Do Differently

That’s what this article is here to tell you just what specific duties and tasks proactive sales managers set themselves.

Rhys Metler

Few would dispute the point that proactive sales managers outperform reactive-or completely apathetic-sales managers, but just as few can accurately articulate what separates the proactive from the rest. After all, knowing that you should be proactive doesn’t mean knowing HOW to be proactive. That’s what this article is here to tell you just what specific duties and tasks proactive sales managers set themselves that lesser managers don’t, and how you can improve your own managerial methodologies by doing the same.

Avert Fires Instead of Putting Them Out

Perhaps the single thing that most definitively separates proactive sales managers from reactive sales managers is the ability to spot problems well before they become an issue. Much like medical treatment, preventative measures in sales are more efficient and result in better outcomes. A proactive manager never lets a problem reach the ’emergency room’. Understand what is happening in your team and learn to spot early warning signs.

Put a Plan in Writing

Not having best practices, basic sales tactics, and other information down in writing puts a sales manager behind when new hires show up or when a current team member needs a refresher. By having this information written up and ready, you can keep everyone on the same page. This also ties into our next item, as it moves personal responsibility to the team and leaves more time for sales managers to manage.

Hold Your Team Accountable

Sales managers run the risk of becoming something more closely resembling an assistant-or nanny-than a leader if they allow every problem of every member of the team to become their own problem. If a team member has the tools they need to resolve their own problems and accomplish their own tasks, proactive sales managers don’t waste time doing their job for them. There’s a reason a willingness to hold yourself accountable has been shown by Harvard studies to be a key personality trait in the best sales people.

Keep Track of Day-to-Day Success and Failure

Information allows for better leadership, so it pays for sales managers to track what happens from day to day. Only looking at weekly or monthly numbers can hide problems or strengths in your team that require your attention. You don’t need to know everything, but knowing more rarely hurts.

Establish Goals

A team without a firm vision for the next week, the next month, or the next year will not work as coherently as ones led by sales managers who effectively communicate goals and strategies for achieving those goals.

Performance Reviews That Matter

Used poorly, performance reviews destroy morale, waste time, and provide nothing of value in exchange. Used properly, however, they give sales managers new insight and an opportunity to use hard data to establish and enforce expectations. So long as they’re done well and not used as a bludgeon, frequent performance reviews can and will improve productivity.

Keep Learning

Coaching individual team members makes up the majority of a sales managers work. To offer the best insight and leadership, those sales managers can’t rely solely on what they already know. The playing field changes rapidly in every industry-yesterday’s cutting edge sure-fire tactics become useless today if the competition thinks of something better. Proactive sales managers don’t let their team fall behind the competition-if anything, the team under a proactive sales manager will be the one innovating and leaving others behind.

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.