More and more business owners have recently decided to manage their sales departments on their own. This tendency has led to the need of creating some tips that once followed, will help everybody develop the skills needed to be an excellent sales manager. The position of sales manager is perhaps the most important one within a company, because selling has become a top priority in the recent period. Therefore, sales managers should play various roles, all of them being of the utmost importance when it comes to achieving success:
A sales manager should be able to identify both the weaknesses and strengths of every member of the sales team so that he/she can enhance their abilities that influence sales levels in a positive manner. Try to discuss with your employees about their weaknesses, even though this topic may irritate them at first. They will thank you later, once they realize that the discussion has helped them make more money.
Help your sales team members improve their qualities, and try not to focus only on their basic sales skills. Understanding larger business issues is impossible, especially if they don’t take their time to enrich their knowledge. Play roles and utilize only scripts that work in real life. This way, they will manage to learn the scripts and boost their confidence. When the sales drop, a sales manager should immediately realize that this probably happened because his/her sales team members haven’t followed the scripts.
Your experience is exactly what your team needs, and you can act as their mentor, warning them about potential problems, while also providing tactical assistance through role playing games.
Try to organize all your internal resources, not only inside the sales team but also outside. Besides, learn to project your activities for a long period of time so that your company has enough time to prepare for each of them. This type of behavior will also show that you are a true professional.
Communication matters a lot
You won’t be able to support your sales team unless you communicate their needs clearly and constantly to various internal organizations. Bear in mind that you should never speak negatively about your team, because sooner or later, they will find out exactly what you’ve said.
As a sales manager, you are expected to make sure that your company’s top priorities are realistic. This will allow your employees to use their limited resources wisely, without ignoring their definite goals and directions.
You should always keep your eyes wide open and look for individuals who have what it takes to become great contributors to your team’s sales effort. Most salespeople enjoy having an encouraging boss, who is aware of their efforts.
Operate (the ‘surgical term’)
Remove non-performers as if they were tumors, since they consume resources in vain and they can even slow down your team. This attribute is very important, even though it can sometimes lead to harsh decisions. Your team’s goal is to improve sales, so you will never be judged for firing someone who doesn’t have the same goal.
The data you own is enough to create a sales forecast related to future sales. In case you know the average time required to close a deal, this information can be used to create a logical projection.
Coordinate both marketing and sales messages in order to provide your customers with the same tune whenever they listen to your firm.
This attribute should be developed because it allows you to ensure that your employees learn from both losses and wins, thus avoiding ineffective behaviors in the future.
Be a diplomat
Whether you lose or win, you are advised to share credit among contributing organizations, without looking for scapegoats or heroes. Besides, you are advised to praise your sales team’s members whenever they manage to make you look good, since this behavior will encourage them to work even more. Nothing compares to the feeling of knowing that your work is appreciated, since this makes you give your best in any possible situation.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Mercedes-Benz of Encino