8 years ago
April 13, 2016

5 Powerful Tools for Every Sales Manager

By using the following five tools,sales managers can regain control of their own careers and propel their sales teams to new heights.

Rhys Metler

The best way to turn around a sales team is to get the sales manager headed in the right direction. Sales managers are in a position to have enormous influence over their sales reps, and when this influence is positive and motivating, great things can happen to a sales team. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for a sales manager to become overwhelmed with the busyness of day-to-day worries and distractions. When this happens, sales managers neglect their own professional development, and the work of their sales reps suffers.

By using the following five tools, however, sales managers can regain control of their own careers and, in so doing, propel their sales teams to new heights.

Tool #1: Leading Instead of Managing

This can be a tough paradigm. After all, you’re called a sales manager, not a sales leader. If you can concentrate on finding ways to work alongside team members and motivate those using social formats, you’ll find that they’re much more inspired than when you rely too much on metrics and deadlines. “Managed” sales reps don’t take as much ownership of their work as those who are led by leaders. They don’t feel as if they have as much control either. Inspire your sales reps with your leadership, and help them to rise to new heights.

Tool #2: Hiring Skills

As a sales manager, you will be most effective if you have dynamite sales reps working for you, and the only way to hire the best is to develop effective hiring skills. When a sales manager can distinguish between mediocre sales reps and excellent sales reps, the overall team will perform better, have better morale, and have the ability to reach team goals. To improve your hiring skills, learn how to write excellent job postings, learn what to look for in resumes, and practice your interviewing skills.

Tool #3: Setting the Team’s Pace

A proactive sales manager is much more effective than a reactive sales manager. What’s the difference? A reactive sales manager is always playing defense, trying to put out fires and keep up with directives, new ideas, and problems within the sales team. A proactive manager follows regular standards and schedules, staying ahead of the crises that can beset the team. Real time tracking and instantaneous feedback are the best methods a sales manager can use to set the team’s pace and monitor progress.

Tool #4: Coaching

A sales manager that coaches sales reps does more than just ensure good sales for the team. Coaching helps sales reps to develop their careers and gain confidence, and everyone benefits from such improvement. Schedule regular times to meet with sales reps to discuss their concerns and accomplishments, but don’t limit coaching to these regularly scheduled meeting times. As problems or new situations arise, put on your coaching hat and use these times for teaching and mentoring.

Tool #5: Looking Ahead

An effective sales manager looks for little trends among the sales team before those little trends can become big problems. For instance, you may notice a slight decrease in sales. Many sales managers would shrug off the decrease as just a difficult week, but wise sales managers will immediately try to find out what’s going on and fix the problem before one bad week turns into a couple of bad months. Always be looking ahead to what you can do to make next week a little better than this week.

By using these five powerful tools, you can improve your sales team’s performance over the short term and also for the rest of your sales reps’ careers. Remember to celebrate successes along the way as your use of these tools helps you to meet your goals and enjoy your work.

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.