Salespeople are ambitious and driven, and they can be notoriously difficult to manage. Experienced sales pros often resent the “meddling” of management in their daily affairs, and getting everyone on the same page can be akin to herding cats. While there is no single success strategy for sales managers to follow, leading by example is an effective way to connect with a sales team, get everyone pulling in the same direction and get the group excited about delivering results.
There Is No “I” In Sales Manager
Nobody wants to work for a sales manager that takes all the credit for employee success and passes blame onto the employee for failure. Great sales managers know that the focus should be on the contributions and results of the team.
Let your team see you take responsibility for shortcomings and mistakes among the group. As an added bonus, when they see their manager own up to these errors, they will be more likely to take responsibility for their own contributions to the failure. Conversely, when the team or individuals on the team experience success, don’t take the credit. Shine a bright spotlight on the team, and show real appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
Ethical Manager, Ethical Team
When it comes to sales, ethics matter. If you want your team to be uncompromising in their own ethical standards, you must project that same uncompromising approach each and every day. Develop a zero tolerance policy for any behaviors or strategies that can misrepresent or exaggerate a product, service, or concept; and apply that policy across the board. Remember that every action you take is being watched, and be sure everything you do meets the ethical standards you set for the group.
Walk The Walk
Sales managers spend a lot of time drilling metrics into their team. They tell their salespeople if they just follow the documented plan, they should be getting x number of appointments and x number of closes every month. However, if you’ve never closed the same number of similar sales in your career, your team isn’t likely to fall in line. The group must know that anything and everything you ask them to do, you have done too, and are willing to do again.
Show The Team They Matter
When your salespeople know they matter to you and the company, they will act like they matter. If you encourage your team to speak up and offer input and feedback – and more importantly act on that input and feedback – you will cultivate an engaged group. This can be challenging if your own leaders are unresponsive, but let your team see you ask for the support and resources they tell you they need. You may not always be able to deliver, but when you show them that you will go to bat for them, they will step up to the plate themselves.
Great sales managers lead great teams, but that sales team must have the right skills and talent for success. If you are looking for new ways to attract and retain top salespeople for your organization, the expert recruiters at CSS can help. Contact us today to learn more about the ways in which we can help grow, build and expand your team – and your bottom line.