As a sales manager, you know that your job is not an easy one. What you may not realize is that your effectiveness as a leader can make or break your sales team. You face quite a bit of pressure every day to perform, but you must still come in to work ready to lead your sales team to success.
Otherwise, their results may suffer, high turnover in the sales department is likely and your job and reputation as a sales manager could be in danger. Do not let that happen.
Instead, ask yourself: How can I be a better sales manager for my sales team?
If you are ready to learn how to be a great sales manager, read on to discover the seven key habits of successful sales managers so you and your sales team can thrive.
Highly Effective Sales Manager Skills to Possess
1. Coach Your Sales Team — Correctly
It is one thing to coach your sales team — it is another thing to coach them correctly.
Instead of trying to force one sales method on everyone, you can be a highly effective sales manager by embracing the differences amongst your team members and allowing each of them to choose the selling method that works best for them.
By adapting your coaching style to fit each salesperson’s specific needs, you will build trust and show that you care about each salesperson’s individual approach to selling. It is important to learn how to motivate and coach your sales team in a way that works best for each member of the team.
Not only should you offer regular coaching, also make sure you offer frequent sales training and sales courses to underperformers as well. That may be all they need to significantly boost their sales results.
2. Practice Being Accountable
The best sales managers do not just hold their salespeople accountable — they hold themselves accountable as well.
Why? Because, at the end of the day, your sales management style has a huge effect on the performance results of your sales team. If you inspire them, coach them correctly and create a healthy team environment, they will likely excel.
On the other hand, if you spend more time micromanaging than leading, fail to develop your team’s sales skills and distance yourself from your salespeople, their performance will be much more likely to suffer.
3. Communicate Effectively — Including Sales Goals
To be a highly effective sales manager, you must communicate with your team regularly. If you do not, how can you expect to set the right expectations, track their progress and motivate them?
It is simple: you cannot. So, make sure you keep the lines of communication open throughout your sales team.
It is not enough for you to be your team’s boss, you must also be their sales mentor, continually inspiring them to perform better. If they never see or hear from you, it will not happen.
4. Create a Positive Work Environment
Have you ever worked somewhere so terrible that you absolutely dreaded clocking in every day?
Most people have at some point. If you have, then you probably do not look back on those times fondly — no one likes working when they spend the entire day counting down the minutes until they can leave.
Does your sales team dread clocking into work every day? If you answered “yes,” you have a major problem on your hands — you are failing to create a top-selling culture for your team.
The good news is that you can start practicing these sales skills and habits to improve the culture:
- Be transparent. Whether things are good or bad, you need to let your salespeople know. They will appreciate your honesty and will be more motivated to work hard for you because of it.
- Boost morale and competitiveness. Driven salespeople are inherently competitive, so a great way to boost their morale while encouraging better sales results is to hold a sales contest.
- Delegate responsibility when appropriate. Delegate an important task, like heading a meeting, to a salesperson you trust. That salesperson will appreciate your confidence in them and will enjoy a new challenge to tackle during the workday. Just make sure you do not use this as an excuse to neglect your responsibilities!
Remember – while fun perks like office ping-pong tables and weekly lunch outings might help your company culture a bit, no perks can take the place of an effective leader who exhibits the traits of a good sales manager. It’s best to use these ways to motivate your team.
5. Work to Streamline Your Processes
While highly effective sales managers should not completely change the sales process daily, they should always be thinking about ways to make their team’s job easier.
After all, your team’s productivity affects their ability to achieve top sales results. So, if their process is slowing them down, they are being hindered from reaching their full potential.
So, how do you determine what is slowing your team down? Ask your sales team for feedback.
Once you learn about the complexities of their current sales process and the tasks that frustrate them, you can work on automating those tasks or developing a new process altogether.
Just make sure you do not over-engineer the sales process — you do not want your team’s productivity to take a hit just for the sake of making a process change.
6. Do Not Just Be a Sales Manager – Lead Your Sales Team
Everyone has had a bad boss at some point. These bosses simply give out orders and judge their employees based solely on metrics, never taking the time to truly help anyone succeed. Do not be that kind of boss when you are managing a sales team.
Instead, actively engage your salespeople daily, and set them up for sales success by providing them with the resources, such as online sales training, they need to work effectively and motivating them to sell more each day.
Remember, while sales metrics and deadlines can be used to drive better performance, it is often much more effective to lead, coach and inspire your team on a daily basis.
7. Use Technology to Better Your Sales Team
Technology has come a long way in recent years, computers and gadgets can allow your team to work faster and handle tasks much more easily than they could just decades ago.
Make no mistake – it is incredibly important for you to harness the power of technology and to allow your sales team to do the same.
Here are a few examples of ways you can strategically use technology to you and your team’s advantage:
- Sales automation – Which tasks are your salespeople handling that are taking up too much of their time? The time they could be spending selling? Find out and automate those tasks.
- Cloud computing – No longer must a salesperson be at their workstation to access critical data. By using the cloud for storage, as opposed to physical storage devices, you empower your team to work from anywhere.
- Sales personality tests – Take the guesswork out of hiring with a sales personality test that will allow you to build a Driven sales team, fully capable of achieving top results.
These are not the only ways you can use technology to your advantage, so make a point to conduct your own research and think of new ways to help your team. This proactive thinking is part of what makes a good sales manager.
Lead Your Sales Team to Success
When following these habits, keep in mind that consistency is what makes a good sales manager. It is not enough for you to strive for greatness only sometimes – you must show up ready to lead your team to success every day.
Start implementing these habits and sales management skills when you work and you can feel confident knowing that you are increasing your effectiveness as a sales manager.
To begin building your successful sales team with top producers, The DriveTest® is a sales personality assessment that is helpful in the sales hiring process. Sign up for a free trial to start assessing your candidates and sales team today!