Being an individual sales contributor and a sales manager, where you manage the team itself are two very different ball games.
You can find this out the hard way by getting into the management position as a top sales performer. You are the hero no more!
Here are 10 ways to be the best sales manager ever to help lead your team to the top.
1. If your company has an anti-sales culture, move on.
If your company has an executive team that disrespects salespeople, it is time to either one, help get rid of the executive that is being allowed to disrespect salespeople, or move forward in your career to another company that respects your contribution. You can’t please everyone always, but running against the wind is never worth it.
2. Leading by Email or CRM never works, although it is a necessary evil.
Setting the rules of the game before it is played is essential to keeping organized and staying accountable. Every salesman knows that keeping organized and staying on top of their clients selfishly helps them succeed. Tracking the success is key, so you can set the benchmarks accordingly.
3. One on one weekly pipeline meetings are absolutely mandatory. No skips!
Although it may seem annoying or monotonous, it is critical to meet with each team member weekly to keep each other accountable on progress. In that meeting you should both understand the pipeline the salesperson is filling, the true status of a deal, what is hot and what is cold, and what deals should remain cold and which deals should be passed on to others on the team if they have no luck. Asking questions is key here to understand where they are at with the buyer and will give you a sense on how they are pacing towards goal.
4. Deal Strategy + Business Planning Meetings should be at least twice a month.
Outside of one on one meetings and team meetings, there should be one on one deal and business planning meetings at least twice a month to go over the key accounts the team member should be focusing on and the strategy to reel them in. This is where you can potentially help them. This could entail getting a higher level meeting for them or reaching out to the right person to get them to take your team members call.
5. Weekly Team Meetings are mandatory.
Team meetings should always be weekly as they build report and comradery. It allows team members to share their wins, their fails, and everything in between. The fun team meetings usually involved a win, a loss, and something personal to keep it light and fun.
6. Ask more questions, then ask some more.
If you have a team of ten people and you are talking more than 10% of the time, you are doing it wrong. Your team needs to speak up about their progress and they can only do it if you ask them questions about their deals. If you are talking more than your team members in a meeting, than you need to stop, pull back, and start listening avidly to understand their concerns and barriers to getting the deal.
7. You are NOT the hero, you are the HERO MAKER.
Time to eat that nice slice of humble pie. Step back, and make your team members the hero. You are not the hero. They are. And they, along with the rest of the company need to know that.
8. Never compete with your own team.
Sorry homie, Jay Z is right. When you diss me, you diss yourself. Stop talking crap about your A players or anyone else for that matter. You are an adult. Leave the petty office gossip at home and put on your big boy pants.
9. You need to be accessible always, AND don’t email team members on nights or weekends.
It makes you look desperate if you are reaching out to your team members on the weekends or nights. Your door is always open but you need to respect your teams personal lives too.
10. You are a coach, not a dictator.
Save the dictatorship for Franco, and leave it in the past. Your team members need someone they can rely on, someone to build them up, and someone to help catapult them into successfully being able to execute on their job as a salesperson. Help them within the sales process where they need it, and if they are stuck you need to pull them out.
Did these help you out? Feel free to add anything we missed on the comments below, and happy managing!
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