Let’s take a look at five challenges with sales management and how to overcome them.
Sales management is not a walk in the park. Although the rewards are great, the challenges can be great as well. Fortunately, there are things you can do to overcome the challenges you routinely face in sales management. Once you know how to solve these problems, sales management becomes a much more satisfying career. Let’s take a look at five challenges with sales management and how to overcome them.
Sales coaching is different than taking care of periodic performance reviews, but sometimes sales managers don’t differentiate between the two. What your sales reps need is constant feedback and coaching, and performance reviews don’t accomplish these tasks. Instead, performance reviews put your sales reps under pressure without providing direction and mentoring.
Sales coaching, on the other hand, helps your sales reps to tackle different challenges and work through their individual weaknesses and questions. In other words, sales coaching strengthens your sales reps by providing them with individual mentoring. By sharing your experiences and helping your sales reps to work through their own problems, you can provide valuable sales coaching.
Data-driven analysis helps your sales team with accountability and goal setting, but collecting the data can be a major sales management challenge. The solution to this challenge is to use data collection tools that help you to organize, analyze, and report to your sales team without spending a lot of time getting lost in spreadsheets and paperwork. Simplify the metrics you use for data analysis, and find tools that work well for your particular data.
Time management is difficult for most professionals, but it can especially difficult in sales management. You may be working during both business and evening hours, and your sales reps may work at different times than you do. The fast-paced world of sales management can lead you to feel that your schedule is out of control and you never have time to sit down and reflect on where you’ve been and where you want to go.
To tame your time management, carve out time in your week to focus solely on managing your sales reps. For instance, you could schedule half-hour meetings with each of your reps, giving you dedicated time to work on your sales coaching and keeping your reps on track.
Sales managers often fall into the trap of thinking that motivation has to be a one-size-fits-all proposition, but not all people are motivated by the same rewards. Some people are motivated to reach their goals by promises of a day off. Others want a bonus more than anything else. Feel free to offer different rewards to different sales reps. Use your one-on-one time with each sales rep to find out what is the most motivating to each person, and use that motivation to propel them toward greater achievement.
With all you have to do in your sales management roles, it can be very difficult to maintain consistency. It’s all too easy to let goals and training sessions fall by the wayside when your day-to-day tasks become overwhelming.
Remember that your daily to-do lists will be more manageable if you keep consistent schedules, habits, and meetings in place. Your sales reps will feel more relaxed and secure when you have established orderly systems for setting goals, returning and reporting, and training for sales presentations and new clients.
These sales management challenges can set you off course, but each challenge can be overcome. By paying special attention to the challenges you face the most often, you can help your sales team to reach its goals more easily. In addition, you will find much more satisfaction in your career as you turn your sales management weaknesses into strengths.
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.