Each year, organizations across Canada promote their best-performing sales representatives to the highly coveted position of sales manager. While the years of training have proven effective, new and old sales managers are left with one question: what to do next.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for becoming a successful sales manager and as a result, there are many myths surrounding the role of managing a sales team.
Let’s debunk the 5 myths of managing a top performing team.
1. Sales Managers Should Always Put The Customer First.
This is not always the case. While maintaining customer satisfaction is critical to sales, managers should avoid getting overly involved with their employee’s calls. Often times, this can leave the sales rep feeling undetermined and unneeded, as well as leaving an impression on the customer that your reps are unskilled. If your employee constantly feels inferior, it will begin to show in their work, which can impact their morale. Instead, put the customer first by working with the salesperson in the event that the customer comes to you for assistance. Furthermore, off-call training can be set in place to address your team’s individual shortfalls. It is important for sales reps to know you are their biggest advocate.
2. Sales Managers Always Know The Right Answer and Should Always Be Able To Solve The Problem.
This is simply not true. A sales manager is not responsible for having all the answers to the issues their team encounters. Continually striving to solve your team’s complications, takes time away from performing productive management tasks. As a sales manager, it is important to set time aside to develop a proactive management style, making certain your sales team has a clear understanding of the current plan, and ensure attainable goals are always in place. Alternatively, it is important to hold employees accountable for solving their own problems while also offering guidance when needed. One way of providing direction, without completely solving the problem, is by asking questions that lead your sales representatives in the right direction.
3. Sales Managers Are Responsible For Closing Out Deals.
Typically, the sales manager has the experience and know-how to make certain that each deal is closed quickly and smoothly. It is important to note that while a sales manager should have a grasp on their teams current prospects, that closing deals should be in the hands of the individual sales rep. Inhibiting your team from learning how to close sales, not only takes time away from other responsibilities, but it also prevents them from learning how to close deals with any type of customer. While it is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, in certain situations to accompany a rep on a sales call, this is merely to convey the message that management is committed to the deal.
4. Employee Morale Will Automatically Improve Sales Numbers.
While it is true that morale will almost certainly improve as sales increase, trying to improve sales when morale is low proves to be very challenging. It is imperative that your team believe sales will improve in order for their morale to rise. The reason for the current low morale must be identified and addressed. This can be done by creating a clear vision for the future, discussing your plans with the team, making certain to focus on how this plan can work and refining the vision into a realistic set of steps everyone can accomplish.
5. Sales Managers Should Rely On The Information That Has Been Passed On From Their Predecessor.
While it is a good idea to look through employee reviews to gain some insight into your team, you must form your own judgment. Along the same lines, it is not advisable to take the position with the intention of completely changing the sales methodology, or leaving it completely unchanged. Instead, take the time to study your employees and the current programs that are in place. Utilize your experience to make tweaks as necessary.
Taking on the role of a sales manager is not always easy, and unfortunately there is no right or wrong way to coach your team to success. Rather, it is imperative that you develop your own plan to make certain your team’s strengths and weaknesses are taken into consideration. Most importantly, be certain to keep the five myths listed above in mind as you take on this exciting, yet challenging career change.
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