Today’s post is by Norman Behar, CEO of Sales Readiness Group and author of The High-Impact Sales Manager: A No-Nonsense, Practical Guide to Improve Your Sales Team’s Performance.
Managing a sales team is one of the most important and challenging jobs in a company. Performance metrics (especially sales performance) are visible throughout the entire organization, the pressure to “hit the numbers’’ is intense, and the pace of managing a sales team can be overwhelming.
Unfortunately, most sales managers start their sales management career ill equipped to effectively manage a team of salespeople. This is especially true if they have been promoted from the sales ranks and try to rely on the same skills that made them successful as a salesperson. While star salespeople can certainly learn to be successful as sales managers, they have to realize that the skills required to manage a team are very different from the skills they needed as an individual contributor.
Compounding the difficulty of the transition to sales management is that most managers find themselves in a daily grind where they spend their days putting out fires and moving from problem to problem. Their days consist of an overwhelming number of activities, including responding to urgent requests, resolving customer issues, and trying to pacify a “high maintenance” sales team. As a result, they end the work week exhausted and feeling they have little control over their destiny – and feel frustrated knowing that the cycle will likely repeat itself the following Monday.
To transcend the daily grind, sales managers need to learn to focus on the following five key factors that drive success in a sales organization:
- Hiring the best people and holding them accountable
- Managing sales performance by focusing on the underlying behaviors that drive results
- Managing the sales pipeline to produce accurate sales forecasts
- Providing ongoing sales coaching that results in better skills and higher win rates
- Motivating and empowering their team
Managers who learn the systems, processes, skills, and techniques associated with these five key factors are what we refer to as high-impact sales managers as detailed in our new book The High-Impact Sales Manager. This book draws on more than 30 years of personal experience as well as Sales Readiness Group’s proven sales management training methodology.
To learn more about the high-impact sales manager, please take a look at the following video interview with Selling Power founder and publisher Gerhard Gschwandtner, where we discuss: The attributes of a high-impact sales manager
- What holds managers back from achieving their potential
- Why star salespeople find the transition to sales manager challenging
- Key skills required to transcend the daily grind