How to Become a Successful Sales Manager

Your boss just promoted you to sales manager after years of working hard as a sales representative for your company. Now what?

Many think sales managers have it easy because they are devoid of having a sales number on their head. However the role is far from that. Instead of an individual quota, they have a whole team’s. Instead of being measured by their own performance, they’re held accountable for how each of their sales reps perform. Below, we’ll look at how to become a successful sales manager in your company by discussing these three key functions: support through coaching, prioritizing recruitment, and having good communication.   

Support Through Coaching

Coaching a sales team is one of the most important tasks a sales manager has. Coaching puts your leadership skills to the test by motivating and helping your sales reps refine and improve their selling techniques to elevate their results. Small Biz Trends explains how people with big egos may not make the best sales managers, because the role entails putting sales reps first. Successful sales managers want to see their team continuously improve and provide them with the right skills, mindset, and support.

Often, it helps to set individual meetings with sales reps once a week. These sessions should talk about how to put a sales plan in action, how to improve on weak areas, as well as how to bounce back when a sale doesn’t push through. It’s important that these coaching sessions also include feedback for the manager about how the rep feels the coaching is going and how the manager can better help them. Moreover, coaching sessions should also positively recognize the sales reps of their existing efforts.

Prioritize Recruitment

Being a manager means taking charge of the hiring and firing of staff. One thing sales managers overlook is the importance of allocating time for recruitment. It’s vital to make time for finding the right person for your team, and being familiar with the different types of recruitment strategies you can use. More often than not companies work with recruiters on either a contingency or retained basis. The Undercover Recruiter defines contingency recruitment as a set up where recruiters are only charged a fee when their candidate takes on a position within the company. This means recruiters are quick to refer candidates, sometimes at the expense of quality recommendations. 

Retained recruiters on the other hand charge an upfront fee to conduct a search, but take their time in thoroughly looking for the right candidate for the company. This type of dedicated search is common in all industries, whether it is business or law, in order to find the best fit. Special Counsel details how retained search engagement saves time and resources for a company, while still hiring the very best. Another reason retained recruiters are effective is because they will also have inside knowledge on the industry and where to find the best talent. Investing in quality recruitment ensures that you hire the right people who can achieve the results you need, and when your team succeeds, the whole company succeeds.

Have Good Communication Skills

During the sales process, teams spend a lot of time gathering necessary information about a client. Once a sale has been made and the clients are passed on to another department, these valuable pieces of information aren’t always turned over properly. Michael Ferguson reminds us that inter-office communication is important and can lead a company to having a successful relationship with a client. All Business states that integrating with other departments also helps facilitate a smooth integration for sales reps in their first few months at a company.

Ultimately, the task of chief communicator primarily falls on the laps of sales managers. They need to be able to articulate their teams’ needs to other departments and to the executive level. For example if there are times when the quotas being set are unrealistic, it’s their role to articulate this to upper management to resolve the situation. Not only does proper communication help you as a sales manager, it helps companies move forward as a cohesive workforce.