Become a Better Sales Manager
If you want to become a better sales manager, you must first understand your success is now based upon the success of your team, not your individual ability to win opportunities, impress clients or close deals – the stuff that probably got you the promotion in the first place.
Your Success Depends Upon the Success of Your Team
As a sales manager, you are now in a leadership role in charge of leading a sales team. The only way you can be successful is if your sales team is successful. To become a better sales manager, you must leverage the strengths of each individual salesperson in a way that makes the team thrive by:
Lead Situationally, Not How You Like to Be Led
How Secondly, too many salespeople move into a management role mistakenly thinking they must lead every person the way they themselves would like to be led. In reality the situational leadership experts have it right, and nothing could be further from the truth. Great sales managers know each person on their team is different and, therefore, manage accordingly to each person’s unique situation.
Unfortunately, too many sales managers also struggle with when to be “hands on” or “hands off.” Many sales reps resent anything close to micromanaging and yet others need close supervision or they fall behind. Successful sales managers recognize that different individuals have different needs and adjust their sales management style to the needs of their team.
It’s a bit like what you first learned in consultative selling training except that instead of playing to your customer’s preferred working style, you play to your rep’s preferred working style.
3 Tips to Be a Better Sales Leader
Here are three tips that allow for the differing needs of the whole sales team:
1. Set Up Regular Sales Coaching Sessions
The goal for these sessions is to meet with each sales rep, one-on-one, to review their top one or two client accounts and discuss their most pressing goals, problems and needs. This is not about micromanaging. This is your opportunity to become a better sales manager by learning what strategic plans your rep has to grow these critical accounts and how you can most help them to succeed.
Most managers like to start with weekly 1×1’s and then more to bi-weekly once the team starts to norm and perform.
2. Use Data Effectively
As a sales manager, you should have access to relevant customer, financial, quota, satisfaction and sales process information that paints a clear picture of where each and every sales rep stands vis-a-vis their targets. Use the information to inform and coach your reps regarding where they should focus their energy and to spot gaps in their performance that need attention
3. Add Special Meetings When Necessary
There are times that call for unscheduled, all hands sales meetings…a new product launch, a bit customer win or loss, a reconfiguration of the company, or a shift from selling products to selling solutions. Do not be afraid to clearly communicate what you know, what you do not know and when you will be able to fill in any gaps.
The Bottom Line
The success of sales leaders is based upon the success of their sales team. Are you setting your team up for success?
To learn more about how to become a better sales manager, download The Truth About Sales Coaching and the Biggest Mistakes
4 Keys to Keeping Talent Up to Date
Why Employees Change Their Mind
What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal. They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”
Vice President Human Resources
The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.
Firmware Engineering Manager
We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.
Vice President, Human Resources
LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.
Senior Marketing Manager
I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.
Director, Team Development
We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics
LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.
Vice President Human Resources
We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.
Director, Human Resources
LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.
Vice President, HR and IT
Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.
Human Resources Business Partner
LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!
Director of HR
We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.
Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager
We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.
Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources
Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.
Vice President of Human Resources
Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.
Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations? Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.
Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.
First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.
Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.
Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.