Managing a sales team is not an easy task. A sales team manager has the ability to either make or break their sales reps. Sales team managers can either stimulate their teams and help them reach their objectives or deflate their self-esteem, which leads to a drop in your organization’s productivity. Here are some strategies on how to be a good manager and run a killer sales team.
In this article:
6 Expert Tips on How to Be a Good Sales Team Manager
Make Time for Time Management
Being a sales team leader is a time-consuming role and even the experts would wish for extra time in their day to achieve more. Being organized is a skill that not all people have but luckily there is plenty of technology to support you with time management.
Make time for the fundamentals regardless of how large your team grows. If you truly can’t manage the whole team alone, ensure you start succession planning immediately. You’ll take even more time off your hands by training your successors but having other people to support your role is key to success. Don’t have the mindset that you could be replaced but think about how you could develop further.
Be Results-Driven good sales manager
If you’re not naturally driven to achieve results, then as a sales team manager, you should be. Make sure your team has a target to aim for and one which is achievable but also a slight stretch. You will have to develop a result orientated culture within your team to maximize sales.
Don’t forget if you only achieve 70% of a stretched sales target, you’re doing a better job than achieving 100% of an average sales target.
Don’t forget to incentivize your team as a way of building urgency and motivation.
Tips to keep your team on target:
- Know what your targets are and how they’re measured.
- Ensure the targets are communicated clearly and check understanding.
- Don’t just measure your goals in dollar signs.
- Look at all the actions that contribute to hitting or missing performance targets.
- Work through blockers or potential problems that could prevent your team from hitting the mark.
Become an Expert in Your Industry
Although managing is a transferable skill, it will help you in your role if you become an industry expert so that the team has someone with expertise to refer to when they encounter tough decisions.
Whether you’re selling technology or homes, it pays to be the highest resource and knowledge center for all of your troops.
Your team is relying on you to deliver all of the knowledge you have for them to shine at their jobs and to continuously improve.
That said, you don’t have to be an expert in every area or role. A good manager is one that can resolve issues even if they have to seek external support.
To become an expert in your industry:
- Stay up to date with industry related news and read major industry publications.
- Keep abreast of your sales reads and competitor data.
- Follow leading sales influencers on social media and pick up any tips they have.
Foster Your Communication Skills
Sales are often the foremost volatile and emotional departments within any organization, and this makes your job particularly difficult.
One of the best attributes of a good sales manager is honed communication skills. A great manager will need to have good people skills and be able to communicate at all levels, understand their audience, know what to say to whom, at what time, and in the most appropriate manner.
Having excellent communication skills will set you up to gauge people and situations so you can react appropriately. Confidence and maturity are also key when communicating with stakeholders.
To become a better communicator:
- Listening is one of the simplest ways of building an understanding of your team.
- Active listening is an advanced skill that requires the listener to fully focus, understand what is being said, responding suitably and then remembering what was said.
- Be confident and transparent. Whether you’re dispensing some praise or having a troublesome conversation with an employee leave no room for doubt.
Hire the Right People good sales manager
Even though large organizations have separate human resource personnel, it’s likely that, as a manager, you’ll have a say in who you hire. The interview process is insightful yet the best person on paper doesn’t always make for the best sales team member.
Look for talent that has been missed by other recruiters or transferable skills that can be groomed to suit your organization. Reinforce people’s strengths throughout their probation and ensure there are no gaps in the onboarding and training programs.
Develop Your Employees Skills
Coach constant learning within your team and give your staff every opportunity to develop their skills. Most employees want career growth in one way or another and it’s your job to promote that and let them pursue their goals, even if that means they outgrow your team.
Give your team opportunities to develop management and leadership skills. Also, ask your team to try out different techniques when closing their next deal.
Task salespeople according to their strengths and segment your prospects to get the best results.
Above all, ensure you treat your salespeople fairly. You will have many different personalities working for you and you probably won’t ‘like’ them all on a personal level but treat them the same and with the respect you would like back. Do everything in your power to protect your team from bad sales behaviors or internal politics. Your role is to make their job as easy as possible for all of you to achieve success.
How are you a good sales manager? What tips can you share with us? Please comment below.