What does it take to be an effective manager? Are you dividing your valuable time for the best return on investment? To run a high performing sales team, here are the 6 most important activities of a sales manager.
- Recruit. Be constantly on the lookout for bright talent. The best time for recruiting sales professionals is when you don’t need them. Even if you have a full complement of stars, you can always use another stellar performer. If you wait until you desperately need someone, you might take the first person who potentially fits the bill, which is a compromise you shouldn’t be willing to make—and could lead to de-hiring (see #6)
- Train. There’s no such thing as a bad salesperson, just a bad manager. Invest in sales training for your team. It’s an ongoing commitment to their growth. Educate and re-educate them in the sales process, teach them to handle objections, and coach their problem-solving skills to foster independence and excellence. When you keep your sales team sharp, they’ll be ready for any shifts in the market.
- Motivate. Be the optimist that sparks a positive mindset in each of your team members. Keep them focused on their ability to achieve results. Remember that it’s not enough to inspire others. You need to ensure they have the discipline to act on their motivation—which goes back to training!
- Communicate. Stay in constant contact with your sales team. Check in regularly to see if they need coaching. They might be hesitant to reach out so make yourself available and approachable as a trusted resource.
- Retain. When you have a peak performer, you might be inclined to sit back and enjoy the success. But a top salesperson can go anywhere. You must invest time in retaining your sales superstars. Celebrate their successes, big and small. They thrive on challenges, opportunities, and rewards, so be sure they are well-fed in this regard..
- De-hire. A salesperson who is not making a significant contribution toward the goal makes the choice to be de-hired, not fired. Firing means you have made the choice, while de-hiring is the choice of the employee. After you have properly managed the individual, provided the tools and motivation, and seen no results, let this one go. Toxic employees wreak havoc on a team! If you’re not doing the hiring correctly, you’d better be darn good at de-hiring!
Once you’ve worked your way through the 6 most important activities of a sales manager, go back and start again. Sales management is not finite; it’s perpetual.