I have worked with many sales managers over the years and I have noticed that the successful ones have certain attributes, traits and patterns of behaviour. When coaching or training sales managers I get them to do a self evaluation against these key attributes. So if you are a sales manager lets see how well you measure up.
Lead by example – Do you dress the way you would expect your team to dress? Do you know your products and services well? A good sales manager will set a good example because as their leader they demonstrate through their actions what is the correct behaviour. As they copying you? Look at your behaviour before you criticise your team. Walk the walk.
A good coach – Do you look at every encounter with your team members as opportunities to help them? Do you get your team together for training and coaching? Do you go on sales calls with your team members? A good sales manager is there for their team to help them through the good and bad. Each encounter is an opportunity to help them.
Understand the team – Does your teams performance reflect on your performance? Do you know what is expected of your team members in their roles? A good sales manager is only as good as their team. If the team is failing then it is a direct reflection on the sales manager. Know what is expected of each team member and help them achieve their goals.
Continually develop staff – Do you have training sessions? Do you celebrate wins? Are losses analysed? These are all aspects of developing your team to be successful. Encourage your team to grow by providing ongoing training, coaching and mentoring.
Determined – What do you do when things don’t work out? Do you give up or keep on going? A good sales manager is determined and will not give up. They understand that times can get tough but with perseverance and determination on doing what must be done, success will come.
Teamwork – Does your team work as a team? Do you get them to do things together? So many sales managers don’t understand teamwork because sales people normally work on their own. However a good sales manager will get the team together to work on opportunities, share successes and analyse the losses. You don’t have a team if they don’t work together. You are part of the team?
Trust – Does your team trust you to do the right thing? Who is more important, you or the team. As a leader your team must trust you to support and do the right thing by them. A good sales manager will go to bat for their team when times are tough and share the rewards when times are good.
Respect – Does your team respect you? What do they do behind your back? Without the respect of your team you will fail as a sales manager. They will not listen, perform or do what is expected if they don’t respect you. They will fail and this will reflect on you. Earn their respect by helping, supporting and working with them. Be part of the team. Remember, you are not better than them because your are the sales manager, you are also a team member with a different role to play.
By John Benson