As a sales manager, you are responsible for leading your team to reach their quotas and generate more revenue for the company. Sales management can be broken down into three main areas…
- Developing & Implementing Sales Strategy – The way your team interacts with customers, the way they approach the product, how they sell it, etc.
- Coaching and Mentoring your Sales Team – Ensuring that your team knows how to sell the product and does a good job at it.
- Monitoring and Evaluating Performance & Goals – Setting up key performance indicators and ensuring that your team is putting in their A-game.
Effective sales management is important because it sets the tone for the entire organization. A sales manager who fails to create a positive culture can hurt morale and end up losing some of their most talented sales reps.
10 Strategies for Successful Sales Management
As a sales manager, you play an important role in the success of your team. You set the tone and culture of your entire sales organization.
A high-performing sales team is worth a lot of money to a company – after all, their performance directly leads to the company making money. Likewise, a sales team that is disorganized and produces inconsistent results can be a huge drain on the company’s resources. It’s important to know that the sales team is going to be consistent with their results; after all, you can’t really tell your shareholders that you’ve been losing money for the past 2 months because the sales team “oop’d.”
However, there are some tried and true practices that are always worth remembering. To help lead you in the right direction, here is a list of the ten best strategies for successful sales management.
Find and retain the best talent
A report from DePaul University estimated that it takes an average of six months to replace a sales rep and costs an average of $110,000. It takes a while for a company to break even on that investment, too – and it can all go down the drain if you make the wrong hire.
If you want your team to thrive, be committed to finding and retaining the very best talent available. While it might cost more money upfront, it will, in the long-run, save you a lot of time, money, and frustration.
Re-align your priorities
Sales management is very much different than just sales. Meaning, rather than being in the field yourself & closing deals, you’ll be tasked with ensuring that your employees do that instead. As a manager, you need to invest the time and resources in helping your team succeed & hit their quotas, rather than doing it yourself.
Working closely with your sales team and coaching them is key to improving sales and reaching your goals.
Help your team develop a plan
If your team is not spending enough time with customers then they will have a hard time making any sales. This sounds obvious but it is easy to fall out of alignment with your overall goals. Effective sales managers help their team manage their time wisely and focus on revenue-producing activities.
Your team probably knows what their quotas are but they may be unsure of how to reach them. As a sales manager, your job is to help them develop a plan so they can reach their goals.
Take some time to figure out what the roadblocks are in your company’s sales process. This will allow you to come up with a plan moving forward.
Look at how your sales team is spending their time and if it is worthwhile. But don’t fall into the trap of only focusing on the negative. Congratulate your sales team when they are doing well or morale will suffer.
Be on the lookout for new technology that could help your team be more productive. Consider how well that software will integrate with your current tools. For example, cloud-based CRM can help your team make more sales and can make it easier to collaborate.
Whatever you choose should integrate seamlessly with the main tools your team is already using. Think about what your company needs and what is important to you and that should help guide you to toward the right systems.
Eliminate the blame game
A common problem on most sales teams is that sales reps can fall into the trap of blaming their lack of results on poor leads. The problem is because they don’t like the leads they have, they don’t spend much time actively pursuing them. Thus, the cycle of poor results continues to repeat itself.
Eliminate the blame game on your team and everyone’s results will improve.
Look for signs of trouble on your team
As a sales manager, you need to always be thinking ahead and looking out for signs of trouble. Pay attention to even small changes in the behavior of your sales team because they could indicate bigger problems. By being proactive in helping your team improve their performance, you will be preventing bigger problems down the road.
If you want your team to accept accountability then you have to be willing to do this yourself. In order to create an honest and open culture, you will need to accept and even solicit feedback from time to time.
Focus on your sales cycle
Improving the sales cycle is one of the most important things a sales team can do. It is easy to fall into the trap of only focusing on hitting your numbers. However, the sales cycle is the one area you have control over so you should be careful not to lose sight of it.
Celebrate the wins — and figure out why they were wins
It is important to celebrate your team’s wins and it is even more important to figure out what they did that worked. Talk to your team about what that person did well and what could be improved in the future.
There are a lot of moving parts within an organization, but in order for a business to thrive, it must have strong sales management. Sales management focuses on improving sales techniques, systems, and processes to increase revenue.
Understanding sales management is the first step to becoming a better sales manager. Planning and goal-setting are crucial parts of any sales management position. Fortunately, there are many resources available to you as your team continues to grow.