Having an effective Sales Team starts with having an effective Sales Manager. There is no greater position in the company to influence the direction and success of the company than Sales Manager. Yet many of these folks are untrained for the position, and are so distracted by the latest fire drill, that they neglect their main job – Making their teams successful.

  1. Too many Sales Managers focus too much on metrics and not enough on coaching to drive performance. Which of these areas are effecting your sales people and how can you help them other than metrics?
    • Managing Priorities / Time Management
    • Having a Positive Attitude about the company and co-workers
    • Improving their selling skills
    • Improving their communication skills with internal staff
    • Finishing what they have started. This means following up with the customers and with internal requests
  2. Make sure that the Compensation Package reflects the Culture and Goals of the company. This one thing can make the Sales Manager’s job a lot easier. Most small business sales compensation packages are strictly focused on revenue generation and NOT on culture and goals. A mixture is all three are important. However, it must be kept simple enough so that it can be reviewed. Here are just a few areas, which can be incorporated into the compensation package. In some cases, you may want to deal with a point system, ratio, or a percentage. I am sure there are more that can be added.
    • Gross Profit
    • Forecasting
    • Achieving goal and above goal
    • Followed Up Leads from Marketing
    • Lead Response Time
    • Prospecting Leads
    • Referral leads
    • Documented Follow Ups of Contacts
    • Demonstrations
    • Customer Retention
    • Quantified team involvement in Sales Process
    • Current Account Receivables
  3. Managing, and improving the Sales Process. The Sales Process is a roadmap, not a railroad track. Use the tool to teach and track performance in real time. As the company grows, processes become more and more important. Most sales people think there is no process, and the Managers do not hold them accountable. It must be emphasized that this process is to help them be better. Avoid the CRM becoming a data dump, and make it into a Sales Process tool.
  4. Coaching daily at the moment of the situation. To re-emphasize, the Sales Manager’s number 1 job is coaching and training. Do not take over a sales situation because it is easier and quicker. You are a coach, not a player. When situations arise that require displaying or correction, do not hesitate. Do not allow more than 24 hours to go by without addressing difficult situations with sales people and customers. Most importantly, do not lose the opportunity to coach.
  5. Dealing with Top Performers. Effective Sales Managers know how to deal with these highly competitive, performance and conflict producers. The Michael Jordan’s and the Tiger Woods’ of Sales forces still need someone to keep them in line and to maximize their performance. This can be difficult at times. However, I have seen many a company being held hostage by Top Performers that do not adhere to the culture and direction of the company. It is the Sales Manager’s job to diplomatically keep those folks in check.

    If you are looking to strengthen your sales team, or help your Sales Manager increase their effectiveness by firming up their sales process, contact the Business Mentor Team today and schedule your Discovery session.

    Contributed by: Allan Himmelstein, SalesCoachAZ.com/