Every organisation relies heavily on the revenue generated by its sales function. This means Sales Managers play a pivotal role in achieving the company’s goals. Are your Sales Managers ready to meet the challenge a new year inevitably brings? Take a look at our seven secrets for sales management success and make your mind up on whether or not they need to up their game.
Secret 1: Create an effective sales management performance plan
The best and most successful Sales Managers don’t just have targets and strategic plans, they have robust plans for how they will maximise the performance of their most valuable resource – their teams. They understand their team members strengths and weaknesses and are clear on what they need to do get the best from everyone.
Secret 2: Coach and develop the team
Even the best sales performers need to refresh their skills, update their knowledge and crucially receive insightful coaching from their Sales Manager. The best Sales Managers know how to effectively manage their time to achieve this. They understand what great coaching is and how to ask clean questions and listen without prejudice to get people thinking and open up new choices for them.
Secret 3: Develop people with feedforward
Rather than being problem-focused truly skilful Sales Managers are solutions-oriented – they use feedforward rather than feedback. Everyone wants to know how they’re doing and most people are keen to learn, overcome challenges and improve. Feedforward is one of the keys that unlocks the potential in your salesforce.
Secret 4: Leverage the ‘backbone’
Most Sales Managers spend a lot of time on underperformers, demotivated sales reps and – where they can – their star sales people. The majority of sales reps don’t fall into any of these categories. Most people in any team are competent performers the Sales Manager relies on. If every Sales Manager focused time on their development and achieved even 1% improvement the marginal gain will be evident in the amount of business won at the end of each quarter.
Secret 5: Help them manage their time
One of the biggest challenges many sales people face is managing their time effectively. If their Sales Manager is able to role model best practice and share powerful tips and techniques that work the results will rapidly speak for themselves. Even a simple exercise such as comparing actual activity against agreed business priorities will help people rethink their approach.
Secret 6: Motivate and inspire them
People want to feel part of something bigger. They want to know what they do is making a difference. It’s not all about making money. The most successful sales people believe in what they are selling and why they sell it. This is where a Sales Manager can make a real difference to how his or her team feels about the considerable time and effort they spend every day in helping their customers achieve their goals. They need to share the vision, reinforce it and tell stories that bring it to life.
Secret 7: Care about their success
Behind every sales person lies a story. It’s their story. It’s about their life and what they want to achieve. If the Sales Manager doesn’t know what his/her people dream about they miss out on one of the most powerful motivators of all – making it matter for them. Aligning objectives with personal goals is crucial for success.
You can find more about this and other sales topics in our new range of courses which are available now as part of our New for 2018 section.