For a Sales Representative, climbing the corporate ladder begins with a promotion to Sales Manager. This is an exciting opportunity to be recognized by senior management and develop your career options. Below we have outlined 6 of the pitfalls and benefits of a good Sales Manager.
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In This Article:
- What is a Sales Manager?
- How Sales Manager Succeed
- Why Some Sales Managers Fail
- People Management
- Management Styles
- Benefits of a Successful Sales Manager
The Failures and Successes of Sales Management
What is a Sales Manager?
Sales managers have a broad range of responsibilities. You must manage and oversee the sales team, assign and monitor sales territories, and resolve client complaints.
You will also liaise with marketing, HR, and senior management.
The role requires a person who is analytical, flexible, and a good mentor.
Developing new and existing client relationships is an important part of the role of all sales managers.
How Sales Managers Succeed
A good sales manager knows the challenges that the role entails. You are the link between the sales team and management. Your position requires you to filter down the frequent and varied corporate decisions to the sales team.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your territories are gaining maximum returns. To achieve this, you must strategize and manage your team efficiently. You need to hold yourself accountable for your team’s poor performance as well as the successful ones.
If you are a good sales manager, you understand the importance of time management. In addition to your sales team, you have to distill marketing and accounts management into your working week.
It is vital to devote time to analyzing and tracking sales data from the sales team. This allows you to catch any shortcomings sooner rather than later.
Why Some Sales Managers Fail
Confusion is the hallmark of a bad sales manager. While you can advocate for your sales team in meetings with senior management, you are now part of the management structure of your company. Your job is to inform your team, not to ask them.
Mixed messages will negatively affect your team’s performance. You must resist sharing negative narratives such as ‘it’s us against the company’ with your team.
Another common error is fighting losing battles with senior management. You need to choose your fights to ensure you get a share of the marketing budget and training allowances for your team. If you are pushing too hard for changes you may lose the ear of your Manager. This will in turn result in losses for your sales team.
If you are promoted to manage your former colleagues you may find it difficult to navigate the world of corporate decision-making vs. personal relationships.
While you may enjoy the process of interviewing and building a new sales team, you must also be honest about the possible shortcomings of your existing team. If a sales rep. is continually not hitting achievable targets, or is not a team player, it may be time to let them go.
An exit interview is a worthwhile strategy to allow the former employee to air any grievances they may have, and allowing you to learn how to profile possible red flags with future employees.
Management Style sales managers fail
It is important not to micromanage your sales team. You need to track the top and lower end performers closely, but appreciate that you have to trust your team to do their jobs. You must manage the team, not the individual. Setting clear goals and targets will set clear parameters for your sales team to achieve.
In a large company, decisions are sent down from the top tiers of the company. You may personally view these changes negatively, but it is important to convey them to your team in a positive light. Rather than challenges, discuss opportunities.
Benefits of a Successful Sales Manager
At some point in your sales career, you will have encountered a ‘bad’ sales manager. These are the managers who disrupt rather than improve your working week.
In contrast, a good sales manager can guide and help a team achieve its targets and goals with minimum conflicts. This establishes trust and respect that creates a good working environment that will benefit your team and sales revenue.
Helping your team to grow the client base, and pursue new leads, will increase sales revenue. This will put you and your team in a good position with senior management.
A Sales Manager role is one of many facets.
A great Sales Manager will have opportunities to increase skills, progress in their career, and enjoy the satisfaction of managing and mentoring a successful sales team.
What have good or bad sales managers taught you? Comment below.
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