If you want to be a good business manager, it's not enough to be a good salesperson. Leading a team of salespeople requires other skills that you need to master. In this article, we will summarize 4 areas that, if you study them, will make you a great sales manager.
1. Sales leadership
The role of a sales leader is to lead the team to the best results while building a healthy team culture. If the sales manager is a good leader, then the sales team consistently does a good job, feels motivated, satisfied and loyal.
The most important sign of a good sales leader is the mutual trust between the sales leader and the sales reps.
In terms of leadership, a sales manager handles the following activities:
- regular meetings with team members and their agenda,
- fair commission system,
- tracking the performance of individual traders,
- planning competitions, rituals and other team activities,
- consulting and helping traders with their problems.
The role of the sales manager is to build a team of great salespeople who quickly connect with the company and share its values.
Therefore, he is actively involved in the recruitment of salespeople and handles all the following activities:
- headhunting, searching and approaching suitable candidates,
- conducting interviews with candidates and preparing test assignments,
- preparing the onboarding plan from day one to the first anniversary.
In some companies, sales managers leave this agenda to the HR department, but this is a mistake. Only the sales manager knows exactly what type of salesperson his team currently needs. Not to mention that experienced salespeople are much more impressed when their potential supervisor interacts with them, not a rank-and-file HR employee.
3. Sales Management
The sales manager is the one who sets up and continuously updates the business process. It is a set of steps that sales reps and their prospective clients must take to successfully close a deal.
Every business is different, so a sales manager should not copy templates from other companies or articles on the internet when setting up the process. Instead, research the best deals your firm has ever closed and break down all the successful steps on both sides that led to the close. Then build a business process from these milestones.
Don't confuse it with a salesman's handbook. A playbook educates salespeople on their day-to-day activities (such as making a meeting, making a cold call, or creating a call script), while a business process illustrates the path through the deal from both sides.
4. Education and mentoring
In order for salespeople to continuously improve, the sales manager must set up an appropriate training system for them. Only when salespeople grow and thrive can the customer base and the company grow.
You should educate your team in at least four basic areas:
- market and customers - orientation in the specifics of your industry,
- product and competitors - understanding the product you will be selling and its differences from the competition,
- selling - methods and techniques that will make you better at your craft,
- technology and tools - using tools that will make their job easier, such as a CRM.
The training of traders needs to be systematised. If you only send them to training once a quarter, they probably won't improve as much as you would like. A training system includes everything from a proper onboarding process over several months to regular cycles of sales and other training.
All four areas are covered in detail in our Sales Driver hub for sales managers. We put it together with sales consultants from SALESDOCK who have trained at Microsoft and UberEats, among others. The Hub will help all aspiring and advanced sales managers who want to become pros in their field.