All too often we see businesses promote their best sales people to manage the rest of the team. So often this is a huge mistake. Not only are you losing you best sales person, but Sales and Management are two entirely different skill-sets and there’s absolutely no reason to believe that being great at one will make you great at the other.
Getting the right people in to manage your sales team is integral to its success. But once you’ve found the right person for the job, what should they be doing?
At Elation we believe Sales Management is one the Three Pillars to Sales Success and getting it right is essential to sustainable business growth. When we’re reviewing Sales Management we look at the following areas:
Structure: Having a clear structure to a team doesn’t necessarily mean a strict hierarchy (in fact, we often encourage the opposite but that’s a different story ), it simply means everyone is clear about who they’re managing and who they’re reporting to. This way the team feel supported and the managers have a stronger opportunity to influence success. It also means that you’ve got the right people in the right job working effectively. Are the managers respected by the team, and indeed do they deserve this respect? Are they actively supporting the team and guiding them to success?
Performance: Whilst each sales person should be responsible for their own success, ultimately it’s the Sales Manager’s responsibility to enable the individuals to succeed. It’s down to the managers to provide clear targets and KPI’s that demonstrate to the sales people exactly what’s expected of them. It’s the manager’s responsibility to recruit the right people for their team and manage job roles based on the strengths of everyone in the team. If someone isn’t achieving, is it because they’re not fit for the role or do they just need help to develop? Another key area of performance is the behaviour of the team. It’s vital that a Sales Manager builds a team that respect them, the business and themselves enough to act appropriately and have a desire to achieve.
Communication: Strong communication is vital in any business, and it’s down to the managers to enable this. Any team should be passing information clearly and accurately within the team and to the wider business. Regular and productive team meetings are a key resource to help a team achieve: they’re a great opportunity to not only provide information to the team but to encourage them to give their thoughts, their feedback and their advice. Any good manager should be thinking clearly about team meetings, 1-2-1’s and the right structure and content of these to ensure that they encourage real development.
Training: Arguably one of the most motivating tools available to a sales manager is regular training and Personal Development Programmes. Training not only up-skills your team, it demonstrates to them that they’re valued as individuals by showing regular investment in their development. Every new team member should experience a clear training programme as part of their induction as well as an understanding of how they’re likely to develop in their role.
How are you doing? Can you tick off all the areas above and have confidence in your sales management? If not, get in touch – we’d love to have a chat about any areas you want to develop in and we’re always happy to provide more information. We also run regular courses if you are interested in mastering The Growth Framework methodology and bringing the UK’s No 1 business growth tool into your business, Click here for more information.