Poor sales performance is most often the result of poor communication, unclear goals or expectations, uninvolved managers, little recognition and a lack of training and coaching.
The sales manager has to lead the way – there isn’t time to have it any other way. As a sales manager, you must develop sales reps so they will be more successful. In order to do this you have to raise your level of professionalism and focus! You set the tone by your example and results. If you succeed, they’ll succeed. If they succeed, you’ll succeed. Do you have what it takes? it often comes down to how well you work with others and your character.
Multiply Your Efforts Through Others
A sales manager’s priority is to train and coach her team- helping them learn to make sales from A to Z. This means working with them to manage their territory or sales accounts to “mine” them to their maximum potential. You multiply your efforts through others this way.
You multiply your efforts through other support services. (Customer service, office, tech services etc.) While you don’t supervise these services; teamwork and good working relationships are crucial to help your reps get all of the support they need to sell. If you have support services problems look in the mirror. It’s your job to get everyone to collaborate.
You also need to cultivate a great relationship with marketing. Make sure you talk to your marketing team regularly. Ensure your sales team follows through on all programs. Include marketing reps in your sales meeting regularly. Track results and give your marketing input and listen to theirs. Provide anecdotal customer feedback to marketing, too. By paying attention to this you help your sales team sell more.
Character Traits of a Sales Management Champion
In the last fifteen years, we have seen sales managers succeed and others fail. Those who do well possess the following thirteen character traits. Check how you measure up.
- Remember, enthusiasm sells customers and sales reps.
- Build your sales team up. An upbeat attitude is contagious with other company departments as well.
- Maintain a persistent determination to help others and to win.
- Goal-focused. Set goals with the team and with each sales rep. Help them get what they want and you will get what you want.
- Follow-through. Do what you say you will do for customers, sales reps, your support team and others.
- Ethical. Be honest, genuine and the person others can count on.
- Have total confidence in yourself, your company, your products, your team and others to reach any goal and deal with any obstacle.
- Be willing to do whatever it takes (ethically, of course) and put in the time to get the job done with excellence and style.
- Make it fun, exciting, enjoyable and a great time in the pursuit of attracting and retaining customers.
- Responsible and accountable. While it takes teamwork to win, winning sales managers own the results.
- Model the Way. Top sales managers lead by example, influence positively and proactively, so others want to follow them. Keep learning and be what you train and coach.
- Team Player. We talked about this earlier, but it’s that important. Play well with others-no excuses.
- Be a superstar. If you want your sales reps to be better, you have to be better. Anyone can do something well once. Excellence is about doing things well time and again.
All of this sounds like a superhero. The truth is nobody is perfect. If you make a mistake admit and learn from it. Emulate these character traits every day with every sales rep and every customer week in and week out, month in and month out! As you do you will feel more confident and you will achieve more sales and career success.