Top Tips for Surviving as a Sales Manager
Being a frontline sales manager is one of the most important jobs in a sales organization, and yet it’s also the most difficult. Few people are prepared for it. The tenure of a sales leader can be as little as a year and a half, or even less. So how can a sales manager learn to really excel at their job, and be the revenue multiplier that their company needs? Dave Brock and John Golden discuss the Sales Manager Survival Guide in this sales expert webinar.
Understanding the Job:
Very few people truly understand what it means to be a sales manager – even someone who is in sales and has worked under a sales manager. Typically, the assumption about a sales manager’s role is that they are responsible for making the numbers. But when you think deeper about their position, the question becomes: how do they make the numbers? Through their people. The job of a sales manager is to get things done through the people and the team that they are responsible for. The way you make your numbers and the way you achieve your goals is to maximize the performance of each individual on the team. There are all sorts of things that are important for sales leaders, like, reporting, analysis, hiring, firing, coaching, development, so and so forth. But, at a fundamental level, it’s really about getting things done through your people and maximizing their performance.
The First 30 Days:
If a sales manager doesn’t know what they’re doing or doesn’t understand how to be most effective at a company, they can end up causing more damage than good. During the first 30 days at an organization, it’s important to take time to work with the salespeople, get to know the customer base and what they do, and engage with the organization as a whole. Build your knowledge of the company’s people, the culture, formal and informal procedures, and how things get done. Without this familiarity, a sales manager won’t be able to work effectively within the organization.
The Next 30 Days:
After you’ve spent a month at an organization getting to know the culture, the people, and the customers, you can move on to building and integrating certain skills within your team. The goal of a sales manager isn’t to develop strategy and ideas. The goal of a sales manager is to get the sales team to adopt those strategies and ideas and implement them in order to execute selling successfully. Getting feedback is another important part. You want to ensure that your team is on board, and feels as if your management style and techniques are helping them be successful.
Coaching for Sales Leaders:
Being a coach is a big part of a sales manager’s responsibility, but coaching is often misunderstood and not properly executed. There are two main styles of coaching: directive, and non-directive. Directive coaching involves more telling people what to do. Non-directive coaching is about helping people learn and discover a better strategy for themselves, and then teaching them to apply this strategy to a variety of different situations. It’s a much more collaborative approach to problem-solving that allows salespeople to internalize the skills. A good sales leader will understand how to use both techniques. Non-directive works best as a primary method of coaching, but it’s also good to know when to use directive coaching. If a salesperson is metaphorically driving their car towards a tree at 60 miles per hour, the sales leader will probably want to take on a more directive approach in order to prevent the salesperson from crashing.
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.