What do you think is the single biggest revenue multiplier in an organization? You might be thinking about the sales team, or perhaps a top of the line CRM, but really, the biggest revenue multiplier for an organization is a sales manager. John Golden interviews Steven Rosen, who wrote a book outlining the top 52 tips for Sales Manager.
Learn sales tips for sales managers in this expert sales interview:
- The importance of a sales manager
- How to use the preemptive strike
- Understanding how to be a great sales coach
- Hiring the best people for the job
Sales Manager’s Success Guide
If you have a good sales manager, they’ll bring out the best in your salespeople. They’ll manage the pipeline properly, they’ll coach adequately, and they’ll get a higher performance out of your sales team. They will be your company’s greatest revenue multiplier. “Most sales executives understand the importance of having a sales manager, but just don’t put the investment into hiring one,” said Rosen. “They don’t put their money where their mouth is. When doing surveys over the last two years, we found that only one-third of companies have support for new sales managers.” Despite being so valuable for companies and generating revenues, the unfortunate truth is that even when a company does have a sales manager, they are often underdeveloped.
Often, a sales manager will be selected from the current candidate of top sales reps already working for a company. There is this expectation that if they were a great sales rep, they will seamlessly transition into a sales manager, without proper training. This results in the company taking two hits with one decision. First, they lose an excellent salesperson, and second, they have a poor sales manager. Rosen uses the example of Wayne Gretzky, who is regarded as one of the best hockey players in history, but was a mediocre coach when he transitioned into that role.
The Sales Manager’s Remedy
There are several things to do to remedy this situation. First, it’s recommended that sales managers seeking more training ask their company to provide it. “Don’t wait around for your company to provide it,” said Rosen. “Be proactive.” If that doesn’t work, an alternative plan of action is to do independent research on how to improve as a manager. A great place to start would be with Rosen’s book! He explores a few essential tips from his book in the expert sales interview.
The Pre-Emptive Strike:
The pre-emptive strike is a technique that Rosen coined to handle the inevitable problems that happen during the day to day business. “There’s always going to be issues,” said Rosen. But, the pre-emptive strike is a technique that sales managers can use to eliminate the frustrations of upper-level management. The method is simple. When something goes wrong, a sales manager should survey the situation, come up with a plan to remedy the solution, and then present the problem with the answer to the problem to upper management. You’re letting senior company members know that the situation is handled, and there is no need to worry. This proactive technique will help you excel as a sales manager and maintain positive relationships with higher up’s.
The Sales Manager as a Coach
Nobody wants to be told what to do. And great coaching involves a lot less telling, and a lot more asking. To be a great sales manager, ask your sales team about what they are thinking, what their obstacles are, and create a plan together about how to overcome them. “It’s very easy to tell,” said Rosen. “But it’s a known fact that people believe more in the conclusions that they come to themselves over anything that someone else tells them.” Not only do you get positive feedback, and a decision that your sales rep is more on board with, but you get to involve your team in the decision-making process and explore their ideas. Move from asking to coaching to improve your sales management skills.
Don’t hire the plug and play. To clarify, the “plug and play” move is to bring on the easiest hire, but not necessarily the best hire. The easiest hire is someone who knows the industry, who knows the customers, and you can put them right into the role and not need to spend much time with them. However, these people come with baggage. They “plug” the hole, but they don’t actually solve the problem or patch the hole. On the contrary, Rosen recommends hiring the person with the best attitude that can be trained well. These people can be molded to fix the hole perfectly, instead of just using a temporary fix.
For more tips on being a great sales manager, watch the expert sales interview!
About Our Host
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.