Knowing how to inspire, motivate, coach and hold sales people accountable for their behaviours is the foundation for improving sales. Skill sets for success as a sales manager are not always the same as skill sets for successful sales people.
Making the top-producing sales person the sales manager might be seen as a reward but without the skills and regular management training the previously successful top sales producer can become a disaster.
It is not surprising that unskilled sales managers with no training can commit many fatal errors without recognising why sales fail to increase. Here are a few observations:
Refuse to accept personal accountability for the behaviours and production of your sales force.
Spending time blaming the sales people, the market, the economy, the product or the company will never increase sales. Accepting the excuses from sales people does them a disservice as well.
Neglect to develop the sales people you manage.
The top job of the sales manager is not to sell. It isn't even to ‘get sales up.’ It is to develop the sales people on the team. The problem with promoting the best producing sales person to the sales management position is that they probably think sales would go up if everyone sold the way they did when they were the top producer.
Focus on the results rather than the behaviour, attitudes and beliefs.
Results are clear to everyone. Knowing what behaviours, attitudes and beliefs that enable sellers to sell is the first step. The second step is to know how to change the things that get in the way.
Don't use all the data you can get; never evaluate your sales people.
It just doesn't make sense to stay in the dark when there are highly accurate, dependable assessment tools which will tell you precisely how and why your sales people sell.
Manage all your sales people the same way.
Managing everyone the same way will result in frustration, lack of clarity and missed opportunities for growth in the ability to sell.
Forget the importance of profit.
Sales volume is not the indicator of success. Dropping the price may get the sale but it leads to leaner margins, lack of confidence and a poorly performing sales force.
Focus on the problems rather than the objective.
Know your target market and limit your presentations to qualified prospects. Learn as much as you can about the prospects in your target market.
Be a buddy not a coach.
Your sales force wants to get better. Sales people need a mentor, a coach to spur them to leave their comfort zone to find new success.
Don't set standards and never rank your sales people by anything other than revenue.
Without clear expectations, without the awareness that there are varieties of ways to succeed and without the knowledge of where they stand, sales people flounder into isolation and alienation.
Never train your sales people.
Thinking you know everything that the sales team needs to know about sales limits them to your experience. Without continual refinement of selling skills in the this rapidly changing marketplace, you will find yourself unprepared to meet unexpected challenges.
Sales people can actually believe their lack of competent performance is acceptable when they see no consequences for a lack in performance.
Recognise only the top revenue producers and then only once a year at bonus time.
Failure to see the team as the reason for sales success leads to isolation and a lack of camaraderie. Recognition of everyone's efforts strengthens the team and leads to greater initiative.
Always see conditions instead of obstacles.
Seeing a down market (or anything that gets in the way of business) as an unchangeable condition leads to excuse making. Accepting excuses de-motivates the sales force.
It might seem to make sense that people trained in sales and marketing and people who have demonstrated success in selling would make good sales managers. Expecting a great sales person to become the sales manager and to learn on the job just doesn't work. Why? The key is in assessing, developing, tracking and coaching sales people who are struggling to learn how to sell in a down time. Pushing harder on the sales force only produces anger, resentment and resistance, not more sales. This insensitivity comes across as poor management and shows you are not paying attention to what is going on with your sales people. In other words, hiring anyone who convinces you they can sell and then telling yourself if they don't produce in 90 days you can fire them, doesn't produce more sales. This only creates a dysfunctional system. Churning and burning the sales force doesn't work.
So what is the answer? Find people in sales with the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that will make them successful managers AND train them to manage the sales force. Show them you believe that developing sales people is their job. Show them you believe that well-developed sales people with strong coaching and regular tracking will produce sales.
Six Ways To Be A More Effective Manager
Part of your responsibility as sales manager is to help your sales team increase their capacity to perform and improve the outcomes of their performance. To that end, you conduct regular sales meetings to hold them accountable, you provide coaching to keep them on track, and you provide training when needed.
What do you do to improve the outcomes of your performance when you’re conducting those sales meetings, providing the coaching, and delivering the training? In other words, what do you do to become a more effective sales manager? Most sales managers would answer, “Not much.”
In this report you will learn:
Ways to improve your performance to be a better manager, mentor and motivator.
To adapt your behavior to turn roadblocks into building blocks.
How to delegate responsibilities to your salespeople and provide guidance when needed.
So, what can you do to improve your performance and be a better manager, mentor, and motivator?