If You Want Great Salespeople, Be a Great Sales Manager

Sucessful sales peopleIt’s always a joy to take pride when your sales team succeeds. You know that you played a part in achieving those results. Do you also give yourself the “credit” for their misses? Do you ask yourself how you could have helped them achieve better results?

There’s a simple truth when it comes to sales management. If you want great salespeople, be a great sales manager. Give them a role model to follow. Empower them with the skills they need to thrive.

Here are five traits I look for in a great sales manager:

  1. Self-awareness. A sales manager who is keenly aware of his own strengths and weaknesses demonstrates a valuable ability to be flexible, able to quickly adapt and respond to others. Self-awareness reflects an intuitive nature that enables you to tune into your individual salespeopple as well as yourself.
  2. Effective multi-tasker. Managing a team means you must juggle a variety of issues and challenges simultaneously. You don’t have the luxury of tackling one task at a time. You need to be able to pull the members of your team together and keep them coordinated at all times. When any member feels overlooked, you compromise that individual’s success, and frankly, you become less valuable to the team.
  3. Tuned in. In your role as sales manager, you need to know about the prospects that your salespeople are working with. You should be aware of any opportunities they might be overlooking so you can guide them to greater success. By educating yourself about their customers, you also demonstrate your interest in their work, which is a key motivator.
  4. A meeting master. Sales meetings can be a total waste of time that could be spent driving sales, but they are an essential communication and training tool. A great sales manager controls the sales meeting, ensuring it doesn’t wander off point. Be aware of the meeting’s objective at the outset—and make it clear to the sales team. When you stay on task, you show your salespeople how to maximize their time for best results.
  5. Goal-setter. Great sales managers understand that great salespeople thrive on meeting and exceeding goals. Work individually with your team members to set goals, monitor the progress, and evaluate the results.

No matter how great your salespeople are, there is always room to improve. Capitalize on these five traits to help them realize their potential.

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