The position of sales manager can be extremely rewarding or absolutely awful. While the truth is, much of your success depends on your team of salespeople, sales managers have more control over their success and failure than most might imagine.
When things go well, they have a tendency in the sales arena to go very well. The same is true in reverse fashion and when things falter (in particular sales numbers and customer satisfaction rates), it can often be ugly.
The Sales Amplification Effect
Everything is bigger and louder in the sales industry. Unlike a manufacturing facility where a lazy employee might have a subtle impact on the end result, a single salesperson can nearly bring down an organization! Of course, that is a worst-case scenario kind of situation but the point is evident, clear and loud like the impact of your sales team. What would it cost your business if your biggest client was lost?
Fortunately, companies and sales managers have the ability to control and dictate the direction of their sales teams and can help guide them to success.
Great Managers Manage!
Regardless of the industry or the type of business or organization, success is
ultimately dependent on the people who are the hands and feet of the company. The good news is, there are some incredibly talented and capable individuals out there. Great managers will make them even better. The bad news is, there are some who are considerably less talented and capable. With the right management, however, most can be better trained and improve.
Training, guiding and empowering your sales team doesn’t happen by itself, it happens by managing. Using an effective sales management process affords managers the tools they need and the insights necessary to do get the most out of their salespeople. One article describes sales training this way…
“Effective sales training points out the importance of functions such as tracking daily activities, keeping accurate records and analyzing closing ratios.”
This begs the question, why aren’t more managers using such sales management process tools and spending more time doing this type of scoring and monitoring of calls?
Few vocations are as fast paced and hectic as that of a sales manager, perhaps managers are just too busy trying to figure out what’s going on. Maybe the difficulty behind managers getting a handle on their sales team is a lack of collaboration. Many salespeople don’t consistently update CRM systems because these systems are perceived as an annoyance or a hassle.
A sales management process that includes (naturally) a CRM system, shouldn’t be viewed as a necessary evil and it doesn’t have to be. Those superstar managers will introduce these systems early on, they should be integrated into the entire sales training process.
It isn’t bad that your salespeople are goal-focused, busy and always working to earn new business. Helping and teaching your team to understand that these tools will only make them better is vital to getting everyone on the same page.
Information is power and the more data and insights a sales manager has the greater the odds of success become. An effective CRM system will gather and reveal pertinent and applicable information including:
- Script Usage – Is your team staying on script? Does it sound natural and free-flowing? New salespeople can often fall into the trap of sounding scripted.
- Conversation Skills – Has one of your veteran salespeople fallen into the habit of being too business-like? How is the tone and delivery of your team?
- Customer Engagement – Are the conversations with customers upbeat and interactive or narrative?
These tools will give sales managers real time measurements so they can help salespeople improve and grow, every day, every customer and every sale. Don’t be a manager that sucks, be the superstar manager with the right tools to guide and mold your team into winners.