It’s a new year. And with a new year comes new opportunities. Everyone, for the most part, starts the year with a resolution or two. And for sales managers, you know these are the critical months that can set the pace for the rest of the year.
It’s time to set new goals and hit the ground running.
Here are five simple goals for the every day sales manager.
1. Be a better leader
The sales manager is a leader, no doubt about it. The choice is whether your primary role is managerial and administrative, or leading a team. Spend less time managing and more time leading. Inspire your team to be successful, instead of threatening them if they’re not. Be honest, delegate efficiently, communicate clearly, be creative, be confident and commit to your goals. It’s your job to keep the team spirit high while having a heavy foot on the gas pedal.
2. Be a better coach
There’s another word for the “head of a team”. You want your team to be resourceful, and you want them to take initiative. It’s easy to view progress and success with the specific mindset of making the number. This simply makes coaching a sales team tougher and less effective. Real, productive coaching centers on the growth that will ultimately result in salespeople making their numbers. Simply being a manager and telling people what to do deprives them of the chance to grow and improve their own results. And don’t worry, if you hire the right people, they will take this individual responsibility head on.
3. Be more selective
It’s no secret that sales is a tough gig. The growth and development of a sales team starts with you. Remember Glengarry Glen Ross? Always be closing? Here’s a new one, always be observing. By carefully observing your own workforce, you can ascertain certain shortcomings. Then you can prioritize and work toward resolving them, whether through coaching, additional training, or a revaluation of strategy. Selectivity must apply to your hiring and promoting process as well. Time is valuable, and it may seem like you want to get a body in place and trained as quickly as possible, but taking the extra step and finding the right people will save you tons of time on future training and hiring costs.
4. Leverage your time
I mentioned in my last post that, for a sales team, there are hardly enough hours in the day for a sales rep to get it all done. The same goes for the sales manager. Lack of time is a huge barrier to coaching, so preparation is key. Delegate efficiently. Establish expectations early so you can be efficient with your coaching efforts. One simple technique to save time is to consider coaching sales skills in a group format. Usually coaching is done one-on-one, but there are situations where group-coaching sessions work well and sometimes even better than the one-on-one sessions. However, make sure to implement this practice with a great deal of thought. This isn’t an excuse to cut corners with your coaching process (see resolution #2).
5. Open up to a new type of goal/milestone
Goals come in many different forms, they do not have to be just about hitting numbers and making quota. Learn to set developmental goals with your team. These types of goals actually boost skill development and office morale. Eventually, you end up with a team of well-rounded sales gurus who will consistently hit sales targets. Note: This development doesn’t just apply to your reps alone, as you encourage them to develop their skills, you should be doing the same. At the end of the day, you’ll have a strong sales team and you’ll be a stronger sales manager.
Join me for the next Salesblazer event on 1/29 and learn more helpful sales tips.
Get more sales tips in the RingLead ebook, Sphere of Influence Selling: An Inside Sales Approach to Crushing Your Quota.