Sales managers need love too! In the industry the majority of the attention is put on the sales people. The assumption is that the manager gets it and is good at what he does otherwise, how could he be a manager. Sound familiar? The flip side to this is that on more than one occasion, the sales manager got this position because he or she was a great sales person. The reality is, that great sales people and great closers do not always make for great managers and leaders.
Good sales people are born and can be groomed and so it goes for the manager. And for those reading this who have the luxury of hiring and promoting with in your origination, keep in mind that the best manager you've ever hired could very well be the "average" sales person who is a high producing leader in a shell just waiting to burst out.
In film there are actors and their are directors. It it very rare to see a great director being a great actor and vice versa.
Kevin Davis in a recent article for Business 2 Community points out 6 opportunities for growth and development for sales managers to improve their craft and blossom into the leadership and manager role in a way that creates the sales culture and orginazation we all hope for.
1. Managers tend to "fall back on their sales instincts rather than develop a leader mindset." Kevin points out that because the new manager doesn't know how to be an effective sales manager, they will fall back to what they know, which is being a good sales person. This can wind up leaving the sales people in need of leadership without a leader and only the “über-salespeople” get the attention. The sink or swim strategy just doesn't work. Everyone needs a leader or a coach.
2. Untrained managers tend to "focus too much energy where it does little good." There is a tendency of getting caught in the cycle of trying to save the unsavealbe. What that means is, sales people won’t get coaching unless they are really poorly performing! Too much one-on-one coaching and attention there leave out the greatest opportunity which is the middle performers. The guys in the middle typically have the most untapped potential and could be the company's greatest opportunity for real tangible growth.
3. No consistency. For the untrained sales manager if there is no predictable management process or common coaching language the results will be confusing to sales reps. It will become especially confusing if the coaching message is not well defined, or changes frequently. Kevin observes that "This can affect the sales manager’s credibility, and the confidence of the sales team." The other challenge this creates is tracking results and statistics. Consistency is not just for the sales process but for management as well. This will remove a lot of mystery for the sales people. Too much mystery for a sales person will result in an apathetic sales staff and that will result in a poor customer experience.
4. Untrained = Buried! Lack of effective time management skills will result in effort taking the place of results. The untrained sales manager finds him or herself "working harder than ever but are unable to catch up, and have no time for what should be their #1 priority, to coach salespeople." Kevin's right on the nose here. Managers need to stay focused on a positive, energetic sales force that can guide the customer through the process. Getting stuck with busy work only hurts the team which ultimately hurts the customer.
5. The sales manager who lacks experience or is untrained sales typically struggles with developing and then enforcing a high standard of excellence for their team. If they can’t define for their people what success looks like how can they dial in the appropriate attitude, approach and level of action to accomplish that? Kevin states, "If they don’t know what success looks like, it’s impossible to steer people in the right direction." Amen to that!
6 Failure to follow-up. The untrained sales managers makes a suggestion to a sales person on how to improve and then mistakenly assumes that the sales person will duplicate the suggestions. Without a genuine follow-up or any accountability, it's merely just good advice. Management wants to create a team culture that has full accountability.
Training for sales managers is just as if not even more important than training for sales people. One possible solution for management training is Cardone University. This is a cloud based too designed specifically to give sales managers daily meeting material to make sure the staff shows up to work on time and not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. It also provides managers and sales people real time on demand solutions to the sales situations they face on a daily basis. Is was designed to make one-on-one coaching and training fast, simple and effective. Cardone University also comes with full tracking and accountability so that any sales manager can know with a click of a button what his people know and more importantly what they don't know and where they need help. Cardone University is available for a 72 hour trial. For more information and complementary production and profitability analysis you can reach out to Sales & Marketing Manager David Bradley at 310-777-0352 or firstname.lastname@example.org