Effective sales management requires a range of key skills, from developing marketing strategy to using all the available sales tools to optimise your team’s results. If you’re looking to become a more effective sales manager then these are our top 10 ways to do it.
1. Don’t get confused about who you should be focusing on
Your primary stakeholders are the individual people on your sales team – the sales manager role is a leadership position so don’t get bogged down purely by the sales side. If you’re going to meet your targets then you have to ensure that the rest of the team meets theirs.
2. Learn to manage effectively
Being a great sales manager means understanding how to lead the team – the most effective way to do that is often to start by acknowledging that everyone on the team is unique and has different needs and opportunities that you’ll need to take into account when managing.
Throw out the hierarchies
Old school prescriptive and hierarchical approaches to sales management have been abandoned in favour of more collaborative and empathetic working. Listen to your team.
3. Start with your own success
It can be useful to go back over your own sales experience and identify what it was that made you successful. Break down the different components to your success so that you can look to replicate it with the members of your sales team where appropriate.
4. Set goals for your team
It will be crucial to unambiguously define expectations so that your sales team understands what is expected of them. Supplying the team with meaningful metrics can also give the people you’re working with tools for managing the process.
5. A change of perspective is going to be essential
If you’ve come from a sales role then you may be used to being selfish with your time, ignoring calls and keeping others at arm’s length so that you can get on with meeting your targets. That’s a perspective that could be incredibly damaging for a sales manager so it’s essential to shift to a more open and engaged way of working. Your time is not your own as a sales manager and your job is to give it to others to enable them to succeed.
6. Let go of the selling
It’s no longer your responsibility to make sales – it’s now up to you to coach others on to making sales achievements.
Don’t try to shape everyone in your own image
It’s a good starting point to look at your own success and use this as a guide for the sales team. But you also have to remember that everyone in the team is an individual and what drives you to success may not work for others.
Be the coach
Motivate your team, support them and guide them if you want to get the best results.
Get some help
There are lots of resources out there designed to smooth the transition to sales manager – our Sales Management course, for example, will focus on how to best use your resources and maximise your team’s results.