Managing a salesperson can be easy or hard depending on your approach. I disagree with people that say it is hard. It all starts with a mindset.
Because guess what. The sales people you manage actually want to do a good job. Like you feel inspired and motivated. Look after their loved ones and enjoy the wonderful rewards life has to offer us. They really are not out to get you. At the end of the day human beings are programmed to seek out success, growth and fulfillment.
So let’s get back to this mindset thing. Why? Well because a salesperson is an entirely unique individual just like the rest of us. So it will depend on what attitude and mindset we take into the situation that will make all the difference.You see the thing is once you have chosen a positive mindset or belief you have the foundation to make everything else work. If not you wont.
The good news is we get to choose our mindset in any given situation. So why not be bold and chose a positive one. How about. Sales people are wonderful people who are easy and rewarding to manage. Great have you said that to yourself now lets move on to the more practical things.
So let’s explore a little more about what goes on for this salesperson. Just in case you have forgotten.
The stereotype of the classic sales person is changing all the time. As our understanding of human behaviour grows, and what makes people buy develops.
In the new business economy, knowledge though important is not the mainstay. It is all about relationships. So the sales person and your sales team constantly have to adapt. While at the same time still having the drive to perform, serve clients, and deliver on quota and target.
As a sales manager I would be concerned if my team where not tenacious about achieving and providing great service and products to clients.
If someone is not keen to see the latest sales figures. Alarm bells should be ringing.
So here you are managing this person who needs to be all things to all men and woman. A tough challenge for anybody. So where do you start. Some ground rules are in order.
When managers set boundaries standards and expectations, they often succeed in bringing out an effective sales team. However, remember the f word. Yes its flexibility.
The very nature of a salespersons job is far from the rigid routine that common employees have. They have to be adaptive, independent, and street-smart.
Because they are action orientated individuals they need the resources and support of you their sales manager. Not all clients are the same and some may want adaptability that your sales person needs to be able to deliver.
A few years ago the team I managed launched a new product. It was a very active time for all of us. With long hours and weekends working. I took the decision that a number of my team did not need to attend a teleconference because we had all been away at the weekend. Fair don’t you think? Me too.
Top tip coming up. They need flexibility within some boundaries. Always remember that. Otherwise one day you will discover that something has happened that might impact many facets of the business. A sales person’s enthusiasm can sometimes get the better of them. So be mindful. It all comes down to what is fair just and reasonable.
Where you can, as a sales manager, take the pressure off your sales people. That way they can focus on their priorities. This is developing relationships with the companies’ clients so they can serve them with the best products and services you deliver.
Always create a positive environment for the salesperson. This will make them feel safe and welcome. Which, trust me will increase the level of productivity that the salesperson has. Always make the effort to understand your salesperson. Appropriate empathy and caring is vital to any successful sales manager.
This is because the salesperson can sometimes be subjected to an onslaught of rejection when they step out of the office. Especially new team members. Contrary to popular opinion sales people do have feelings. Thankfully they do or they would not be able connect with 75% of their clients.
So there you have it So often we make things hard for ourselves with this management game. Think and prepare your mindset first. You will be amazed at the difference it will make.
By Michael Williams