A good sales manager is many things: an adept advertiser; a master recruiter; a strategic organiser; and most importantly an inspirational leader. However, finding all of these characteristics in one individual is rare. More often than not, those that become truly great sales managers are the ones who have worked the hardest. Those willing to put in the time and effort would do well to consider the following when planning their journey to greatness.
Above all, a great sales manager should display complete commitment to the team they are leading. When a team’s success is dependent upon working towards common sales goals and profit targets, it is vital that the manager is clear and consistent in two key ways. Firstly, they must show the same level of hard-work they expect in their staff. And secondly, they must consistently prove the positive behaviours they require from those working for them.
Furthermore, it is the sales manager’s prerogative to predict issues and protect their staff as much as they can from potential problems. The world of sales is a shifting one so to be truly effective, sales managers must be analytically aware and strategically savvy. The trust created through being a calm and consistent leader is invaluable.
Create team players
Too often, sales teams are reliant on one or two expertly successful sellers whose figures bolster the team as a whole. Yet this is a precarious arrangement with glaring flaws: most notably, what is to be done if these ‘star’ sales people move on elsewhere? Their success will naturally breed ambition and it might not be long before they seek pastures new. On the other hand, a sales team should not simply be made up of characterless and complicit ‘robots.’
Great managers take responsibility for sourcing the best staff and though they are able to delegate elsewhere, this is one area where they must take a controlling lead. They will know that ambitious, adaptable and disciplined employees are the order of the day and ensure that the recruitment process they embed is one that makes selecting the best inevitable.
Having a great team in place is of course just the beginning. Great sales managers know that to maintain their status, a programme of continuous professional development must be put in place. A rushed meeting every now and then, a collapsed training day once a year or infrequent and un-useful e-mails are far from good enough. It has already been pointed out that the world of sales is one liable to change and therefore purposeful training must be similarly changeable and equally reactive.
Good training provides a perfect opportunity for focused appraisal as well as staff development. Great sales managers are acutely aware of the talents and skills throughout their team and are able to bring out the best in each individual. Structuring training carefully can both harness and develop the skills on offer for the good of the team and the stature of the manager leading the way.
For a range of vacancies take a look at the sales manager jobs at www.salestarget.co.uk for your next opportunity.