Sales managers have to assume a multitude of roles. They have to make sure their team hits the weekly figures, quarterly targets, and yearly goals. They’re responsible for coaching and motivating their team, to make sure they have the right skills to develop, and they need to know how to develop and execute a successful sales strategy.
The best sales managers make time to develop their team: it’s through the team that results are delivered. Take time to learn more about people through informal one-to-one conversations. Recognize the limits of an individual’s abilities and how much coaching each one needs. Provide feedback, offer help, and respond positively to all ideas. Congratulate success in front of others and respect the pressure and constraints they’re under. Don’t take control all the time: encourage others to lead meetings and come up with solutions.
A sales manager with great coaching skills will not only see improved sales performance but will have better sales rep engagement, reduced turnover, and improved job satisfaction.
As managers, you are a small business owner. You have budgets, staff, resources, and key performance indicators. Just like if you owned the company, it’s important that you have a strong grasp of the financial side of your business.
Most sales managers are not hiring on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Therefore it becomes challenging to develop great hiring skills. However, hiring the right salesperson makes a big difference. Hiring mistakes are costly and take time to fix.
Sales managers who can systematically identify and select top sales talent will deliver improved team performance and sales results.
There are many definitions of performance management. I see performance management as conducting quarterly business reviews, managing non-performing sales reps, and managing your boss.
If performance issues go unchecked, sales and team morale can be negatively affected. Many sales managers shy away from confronting salespeople who are not performing. It is up to the sales manager to have planned and unplanned checkpoints to address performance issues and develop a plan of action to correct the problem. The sales manager must continually raise the bar on performance.
Sales managers need to be strong leaders. The key to developing strong sales leaders is for your sales managers to be able to create and share a vision with their sales team. Strong sales leaders have the skill and the will to help their team adopt the vision and keep them focused on working towards achieving it.
Sales leaders require the ability to communicate, innovate, inspire, and set the tone for the sales team.
Sales managers who master these essential sales management skill sets will always be on the podium and have the top-performing team.
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