Off the Cuff Instant Interview Question: What advice would you give a sales manager who has just been promoted and needs to know where to start?
Recognize your job has changed, you are no longer responsible for producing orders, that’s your salespeople’s job. Your job is to get things done through your sales people, maximizing their performance. The highest leverage activity to do this is through great coaching. Look for every opportunity to coach and develop your salespeople. Find them doing things right, help them understand how to improve, how to think about what they are doing.
In your first 90 days don’t rush to change things. Take the time to assess what’s going on and where you can have the greatest impact on your salespeople. Spend time with them, watching. Visit customers with them–you get to learn about your customers as well as seeing how things work. Make sure you learn how to get things done within your own company. As you start to develop assessments of where to focus and how to improve the performance of your people, engage them in the process. Only then, develop and execute your plan, focusing on the highest impact areas.
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