Sales is hard but truly succeeding as a sales manager is even harder. It’s not an easy role at all, when done right you’re leading the business to success. When it’s not done right, well the weight of the world will soon be felt!
With years working in sales leadership roles, and through working with some of the best sales leaders around the world, we’ve put together a list of 7 top tips to help you become a successful sales manager.
1) Lead from The Front Line
One of the worst things you can do as a sales manager is hide behind your desk. Not only does it limit your ability to effectively lead your team, but it also disconnects you from the environment your team is working in. You should be leading your team next to them, making calls with them, crafting pitches with them, analysing opportunities with them etc.
It will help inspire and motivate your team to work harder, and it will help you have the best possible understanding of the industry that you’re selling into.
2) Coach Your Team to Success
Successful sales management isn’t just about managing your team, it’s about coaching your team and supporting them to success. Coaching is one of the biggest gaps in sales right now and it’s one that has a huge impact on success. Instead of your 1-2-1’s being focused on pipeline and numbers, talk about them, their challenges and their obstacles. Encourage them to open up and feel safe talking to you, and most importantly, listen.
There is a reason that elite athletes, entrepreneurs and business leaders all have coaches, because of the importance it has on success.
3) Look Past the Smoke and Mirrors
Salespeople by trade are good at talking and winning people over. Unfortunately, whilst this skill is very important to selling, it is also often used on their sales managers as well! Salespeople will always try and put up as much smoke and mirrors as possible to make their manager think that everything is ok. Great sales managers work hard to look past the smoke and mirrors and to challenge their salespeople thoroughly to find the truth.
It’s only when you know the truth about their pipeline and forecast that you can truly help them.
4) Take Responsibility and Accountability for Your Team
It’s important that any struggles or failures that your team has, you take responsibility and accountability for it. You are their leader and responsible for them. Only by truly accepting this and working by this rule can you then solve the problems and more forward. A lot of sales managers unfortunately will throw their team under the bus before they take the blame for anything and this will only ever hold you back in sales leadership.
5) Invest in Your Team
Successful sales managers know they need to constantly invest in their team. Whether it’s investing in learning and training, or investing in rewards and incentives, what you put in will determine what you get out. Make sure you’re giving them regular training, make sure they have good incentives to work towards and that they feel rewarded and looked after. Why not invest in a mini sales library? Buy 25 of the top sales books out there and have them available for the team to read. Little things like that can have a huge impact on their motivation and also their skillset, which have a huge impact on their results.
6) Understand Your Team Individually
Some of your team will be motivated by money, others by progression, and others but different things. It’s crucial that you understand each member of your team as an individual, so you can get the most out of each of them and all of them. Understand what motivates them, understand what they want to achieve, understand what challenges they have, it’s all of these things that can then help you become the best leader possible.
If you assume that they’re all motivated by money, but some are motivated by progression, you’ll never be able to truly motivate them. Spend time regularly, perhaps monthly, keeping full up to date on everything that is driving them and impacting them.
7) Create an Environment That Fuels Success
If your team is sat in a plain coloured office, with no music, caged in on their desks, this might not be the best environment to get great results from them. Sit down and talk to your team and look at what you can add to the office to help fuel their success. It could be motivational quotes on the walls, it could be music in the background, it could be plants, games, the list goes on.
The best managers create the ultimate environments for success that inspire their team every single minute that they’re in the office. Keep it refreshed as well, you don’t want the team getting to comfortable. Add new things once a month and keep them on their toes!
And there you have it, 7 top tips to drive real success as a sales manager!
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog today, I really hope you enjoyed it. Here at SET For Business we are really passionate about helping businesses and sales teams get the most from a CRM. That’s why we built an easy, engaging and feature packed CRM that was designed with the user in mind.
Please do have a look at www.setforbusiness.co.uk and if you’re interested you’ll be able to book a totally free trial there. We would love the chance to help your sales team and business grow with our system.