Everyone involved in sales management has at one time or another wondered how to be a better sales manager. It’s a hard job, and there are a lot of ideas out there about how you could do it better!
We’ve found that the foundation of how to be a better sales manager is to focus on your sales team’s growth and development. Rather than just focusing on growing sales, work to grow salespeople. The results will follow!
If you boil down a lot of advice for how to be a better sales manager, you’ll find three areas of focus.
1. Set and achieve goals.
One of the key aspects of how to be a better sales manager is to set the right goals. After that, you need to be able to hold your team accountable to achieve them.
Do you often find that your team’s goals are unrealistic? Maybe they are higher than seems possible to achieve.
Alternately, maybe they are just off base – you expect revenue from one area of your business, but it actually comes from a completely different area.
If you’re not setting the right goals, you’re never going to be able to drive accountability. So develop a process for setting the right goals, then develop processes for accountability.
The key to accountability is getting initial buy-in and then checking in. If you are tracking the right information, and regularly reviewing it with your reps, you’ll be able to hold them accountable.
To learn how to set and achieve sales goals, check out our eBook The Ultimate Guide to Setting & Achieving Sales Goals.
2. Coach your team.
If you’re wondering how to be a better sales manager, consider thinking of yourself less as a manager and more as a coach.
Much of the time, as a sales manager, you should be interacting with your team as their coach. Help them set goals and discover strategies for success.
In order to effectively coach someone, it’s important to understand how they are motivated. Do they respond best to competition or negative feedback, or would that crush them? Some people prefer to focus on a positive vision of success.
And when you are functioning as a coach, make sure to listen more than you talk.
To learn more about sales motivation, check out our eBook Motivating Your Sales Team: The Four Dimensions of Sales Motivation.
3. Train and practice
As you’re working to develop and grow your team, it’s important to train and practice.
How often do you provide sales training to your team? How often do you role practice selling situations?
You should include training or practice in every sales team meeting, as well as many of your one-on-one meetings.
Identify a list of sales training topics and rotate through them in sales meetings, or just pick topics based on what’s going on at the moment. Ask people to volunteer scenarios to role practice, such as how they will start a meeting or introduce themselves.
When you are thinking about how to be a better sales manager, don’t forget this key component.
Do you have any ideas for how to be a better sales manager? Share them in the comments!
And for more solutions for sales managers, check out our latest eBook The Ultimate Guide to Sales Management: Solving the Top 10 Problems Sales Manager Experience.