You must be here to know about the top qualities of a great sales manager.
Before we dive into what you need to do to become a good sales manager, let’s define what you shouldn’t do to avoid becoming toxic.
Let’s take a scenario,
Ajay (Sales manager): Rohit, have you reached your sales target? Ajay: What!? Is there a limit to how many times I should tell you to hit your target? Rohit: I understand your concern but please give me a chance to explain my situation, there was this… Ajay: Oh please! It's not worth my time to listen to any of your bullshit and I’m not interested at all. Just clear your mess and do the work, you've got until tomorrow. Do you get that!? Rohit: Yes sir!
This is how a boss deals with any situation.
You should read this if you are a sales manager and behave like this with your team.
Nothing is worse than working in a hostile environment, where the boss is the antagonist. You cannot get the best out of your team by being tough on them.
For once they may work day and night to finish the target on time due to fear of being fired.
However, that won’t work in the long run. You will lose your team and they will hate you.
In the above situation, let’s try to come up with an alternative solution.
During the conversation, Rohit explains that he fell ill and took leave which is why he wasn’t able to finish the work on time.
Ajay: Oh I’m sorry to hear that. We should do one thing, send me details about your work, and I suggest that we split the work up and finish it by tomorrow.
And this is how a leader deals with any situation.
A boss orders the work, while a leader leads from the front and is always ready to help.
What are the qualities of a great sales manager?
Now that you know what a toxic sales manager’s quality looks like, let’s explore the qualities of a good sales manager in detail.
1. Be a role model to others
The path to becoming a sales manager does not follow a straight line, every salesperson goes through that phase of continually exceeding their sales targets and outperforming others.
Lead and train your team with examples, as mentioned above, don’t try to be a boss, be their leader instead.
Your valuable experience can guide your sales team through their sales journey. Ensure that they feel your leadership is helping them grow.
In the example above, you saw how the ideal manager dealt with the situation by splitting the work with the Salesperson at the end.
Think about it if the manager had simply assigned the salesperson all the work alone, would he be able to complete it in time and with effectiveness…No way!
Therefore, you must act appropriately according to the present situation, which will in turn make you a role model for your team.
2. Make sure the team has a clear and strategic vision
Sales are not only about achieving individual goals, it’s about achieving the collective goal of the team as a whole to make their company and their career successful.
An effective manager must motivate their team to achieve a collective goal despite competing among themselves. He makes a plan for his team and makes them work accordingly.
As said by Lewis K. Bendele:
“A man without a plan for the day is lost before he starts.”
Let’s take an example, there are these two sales managers Ajay and Arun. The sales teams of both managers have different approaches to hitting their targets.
Arun’s approach: He sets a monthly target and orders his sales team to work on hitting it and he rewards the salesperson with the maximum number of sales.
As a result of this approach, there is a sense of competition among team members and they are only focused on making the most personal sales possible to win the reward.
Ajay’s approach: He divided the monthly target into daily and weekly targets and he work with his team on the ground level to achieve the target. After they have met their personal goals, he encourages them to assist others with their goals and rewards them for doing so.
It promotes unity among team members and makes them feel that they are working together toward the same goal.
Now you decide which approach is better to achieve the target more effectively and which makes a manager favorite among the sales team.
To this end, you should work with your team on the ground level and move with a clear plan in mind
3. Maintain a good communication channel with your team
Building a healthy and constant communication channel between the sales manager and the team is very important. By properly communicating with the sales team, any issues get resolved faster.
The sales team will perform better if the manager is easily accessible because they can see how their leader is always there for them.
For example, as we have seen Arun’s approach in the above example is that he doesn’t work on level zero with his team instead he just orders to complete the monthly target.
He doesn’t plan any outings or parties with his team to establish good communication among them.
This has resulted in his team not being able to contact him in case of an issue since he never assured them that he would be there for them. When he finds out about the problem, it is already beyond his control, and he then accuses them of not informing him earlier.
In contrast, Ajay plans outings and parties with his team regularly to establish good communication between them out of the work pressure of the office.
In this way, the team can communicate better with the team leader and get his help to resolve any problem more quickly when it is in its initial stages.
Therefore it is essential to plan trips outside business hours with your team to improve communication channels between them and make them feel like a united front.
Keep in mind that good communication is like oxygen for any kind of relationship
4. Integrity is Paramount
“Be the man of your words”
You must always follow through on your words and never abuse your authority if you want to gain the respect of your team.
As an ideal sales manager, you should be aware that your team will need your guidance in every difficult situation, so you should not abuse your powers and always be available to your team.
Here’s a scenario from Arun’s first day as a sales manager. He motivates his team as follows:
Arun: Hello, everyone this is your new sales manager Arun. It is my vision to make our team extraordinary and to achieve every goal together. Whatever it takes to lift you all, I am willing to do.
Nevertheless, saying something is very different from actually doing it.
Just imagine! If Arun didn’t do as he said like he didn’t involve much with the team to finish the target, he isn’t available when his team needs him, and he blames the team for not finishing the task.
In your opinion, what kind of image will Arun have among his team after this action?
Definitely not good, right!?
You should therefore speak only what you can do and do what you say. It will increase your credibility and integrity among your teammates.
5. If discipline is necessary, enforce it
We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment. – Jim Rohn
An effective sales manager’s characteristic is to discipline his team members. He needs to be able to be strict with his team members when necessary.
Nevertheless, he should not abuse his power by targeting specific salespeople instead he should be able to provide constructive feedback.
You need to set an example in front of everyone. Don’t be too harsh but make sure everyone understands what you want them to do.
For example, you must be strict with any salesperson who is doing their work during sales work so that they understand that time is valuable in sales.
Take this scenario,
Rohit is a salesperson who frequently attends personal calls during sales calls, and you have observed him doing this several times.
In such a scenario, what would you do?
The most effective way to deal with such a situation is to give the individual a strong warning when you catch them red-handed. Ensure everyone is included in the warning so that the message gets across clearly.
Based on the scenario above, you can say:
Ajay (sales manager): Rohit, I have seen you take personal calls multiple times while attending sales calls. Don’t you think it is very unprofessional to do so? It is your last warning and should not be repeated not only by Rohit but by everyone here as well. Continuing this behaviour in the future will result in grave consequences.
Warnings like these will ensure that no one repeats the same mistake in the future. Occasionally, it is very important to be strict with the team or else they will take advantage of you.
Pro tip – Use a Sales CRM to monitor for tracking team performance anytime, anywhere.
6. Monitor your team’s performance
Great sales managers strive to enhance their teams’ performance and increase overall sales. But your team’s performance cannot be improved if you don’t know what they’re doing wrong.
Hence, it is crucial to monitor your team’s performance, since you will be able to determine the areas for improvement and help your team to improve and achieve sales team Performance Metrics.
For example, by tracking the average time each salesperson spends on a single sales call, you can improve the timing if your team is spending more time on each call.
You can coach them on how to make sales calls more effective without taking up more of their time. In the same way, you can track other parameters to determine if your team is performing up to par.
In time, the team will become more efficient through constant improvement. It is your responsibility as an ideal sales manager to do whatever it takes to make your team more productive.
7. A coach’s ability to coach and a learner’s mind
“Your life as a teacher begins the day you realise that you are always a learner.” – Robert John Meehan
To be a great sales manager, one must be a good teacher so that he can coach his team when necessary and also a student so that he keeps up with the latest trends.
As a sales manager, you should invest in teaching your team the latest trends and methods to ensure your team grows together.
For instance, if one of your sales representatives is underperforming, try to understand his perspective, coach him, help him, and let him stand on his own instead of forcing him.
A great coach and a great sales manager should be able to handle such employees in this way. They will feel motivated to work harder since they know you are there to support them.
Additionally, maintain a habit of reading magazines and attending seminars on sales to keep yourself updated and to pass on the same knowledge to your team.
Work hard, but do not forget to enjoy your team’s success. Motivation only through words is not sustainable but celebrating your team’s success motivates them to do better.
To celebrate the achievements of the team, plan parties and trips. Providing special offers to the team’s top performers can motivate everyone to perform better next time.
For instance, your team performed extremely well in the past quarter and achieved the desired target.
As a celebration of this achievement, you can give everyone a movie treat or you can organize a party outside of the office.
To be free from the stresses of the workplace, it is essential to celebrate outside of the office.
At times, you can arrange outings and trips for your team to make them feel appreciated.
As the saying goes,
“With great power comes great responsibilities.”
To be a great sales manager you need to have the above-mentioned qualities and you should be responsible towards your team.
In the end, the main purpose of good sales management skills is to keep himself invested in improving your team’s overall efficiency and always be there for them.
Great leadership and a great team can achieve any target.