A sales manager must reflect the full spirit of any company’s sales team. It is where salespeople and pre-salespeople will be able to work on a day-to-day basis. It is through him, through his leadership, that a company can sell more, better and grow.
At each end of the year, goals are analyzed, planning is made – or redone – and the sales projection for the next 365 days is defined.
A sales target is set for the next 12 months and the sales manager’s role in achieving that target is vital.
When analyzing the past year, what needs to be done in your company to boost sales? This is certainly a recurring question and it goes through the manager’s insights to improve this issue.
After all, companies only grow when they manage to make their commercial process more effective. And if this goes hand in hand with the reduction in operating costs, we are certainly talking about the best scenario of all, right?
In this article, we list essential qualities for a sales manager to not only manage his sales team, but also extract the best from each one under his supervision.
How to be a good sales manager?
Having control over the sales team, guiding the steps to be taken and providing conditions so that everyone can fulfill their obligations and meet goals. This is the mission of a good sales manager – who also needs to sell.
You see, it’s important to have a customer base, not to compete with salespeople, but to be constantly up to date and pick up insights to improve the pitch and also keep the sales playbook up to date.
Because of this, we selected some essential qualities for a good commercial manager.
Know how to build your team well
The first requirement is knowing how to surround yourself with the best professionals. Good salespeople will be employed and can be very expensive. But identifying potential talents to be polished is an important virtue.
Assemble not only the sales team, but also the pre-sales team – that’s why it’s important to know how many SDRs your company needs.
It is also critical to understand what your current team is weak and strong. Explore the virtues and correct the flaws.
This, incidentally, is to apply the so-called agile methodology. Encourage knowledge exchange.
If someone on your team is slower, everyone’s pace will be that person’s pace. What to do then? Qualify it.
Investing in constant improvement is the way out. Training, a lot of training. There is no magic formula. There is, yes, work, repetition, setting the course, adjusting the process and assertive work.
And who needs to be in control of it all? The sales manager, of course.
Understand and measure. Read the context and adapt the path – if necessary. They sound like loose words, but they make perfect sense in a commercial area of any company.
It’s like we talked about earlier. The sales manager needs to be aware of his team’s current capabilities.
However, this analysis has to be based on market metrics directly related to your company’s sector and also take into account the current market context.
For example, at the beginning of the year the pace is almost always slower. So, if sellers are failing to meet the target for the month, it is necessary to understand these reasons and then adapt it to the period.
Setting bold goals can cause two reactions. The first is certainly expected: to motivate the team to try harder to succeed.
But keep in mind that team management goes far beyond paying commissions.
However, if the goal is unrealistic, the effect can be quite negative, with people ending up unmotivated – some even asking to leave.
Then, you will have to hire new professionals, invest again in training and wait for the learning curve to reach a good level to put them in the front line and sell.
How much time was wasted in these processes? How many opportunities have you gone through simply not being able to meet them?
Therefore, it is up to the commercial manager to use KPIs – the so-called Key Performance Indicators – and OPIs, which are Operational Performance Indicators. Through them, it is possible to identify bottlenecks and define a plan to correct them.
Manage through respect
A sales leader needs to know how to respect everyone. As we said, if someone from your sales team has greater difficulty, it is necessary to invest in qualification.
But you have to be able to identify this. Talking to people, following her work on a daily basis and understanding the reasons why she cannot keep up with others.
Doing this in a considerate way, being didactic in showing what needs to be done: this is all part of managing with respect and valuing people.
Of course, if there is no evolution even after training and constant knowledge sharing, you need to make changes to your team.
However, respect must always prevail. Even if there are reasons for dissatisfaction with a certain professional, shouting, complaining, harassing a salesperson for the bad result is, pardon the redundancy: BAD.
First, because you won’t be able to get anything positive out of it.
Second call, other people on your team will see how you manage, how to deal with problems, and will most likely be displeased.
Therefore, managing through respect makes a lot more sense. And when this is combined with the knowledge on the subject itself – in this case, sales – it becomes easier.
The leader of a commercial team needs to understand as much or more about the topic than their followers.
There is an old phrase I made: “Words convince, example drags”. And that makes perfect sales sense.
When the manager shows that he really understands the subject, it is much easier to earn the respect of your team, for them to trust what you propose.
Identify the best opportunities
Another crucial point that makes the job of everyone involved in the commercial sector is to identify the best opportunities.
The cliché is true. Time is money and every manager knows how much it costs, not just an idle salesperson, but time wasted with prospects that have no potential for closing.
The wrong focus compromises the monthly goals set to be met. As a result, your company’s Customer Acquisition Cost increases.
With experience in the area, with knowledge of the persona to which he sells and also the solution in hand, it is up to the sales manager to direct his team to those opportunities with the greatest potential.
For this, too, it is necessary to have them well organized within your sales funnel.
For example, this makes it easier to designate for pre-sellers how to qualify the lead for closer.
It is also important to be aware if the established goal matches reality. And here we are not just talking about those bolder goals. Low goals can also be a problem.
After all, companies will be spending a lot more hours of their teams to achieve something that, with fewer people, or with fewer hours of work, this would be possible to achieve.
And then again: how much will each customer obtained in a week cost? One month? One year? How much money was invested compared to the amount that was generated?
Find your leadership style
Which management style suits you best? Be truthful in answer. Being artificial, trying to become something that doesn’t fit with your personality, your beliefs and also your values will not work.
After all, you’re going to try to be something you’re not – it won’t last long and people will notice the change.
If you want to be more direct, do it assertively. Show confidence in what you guide and explain the whys clearly. It is a more imposing style.
Does it suit you to be more open? Convincing with arguments, opening up for your team to question or ponder can work.
As a result, you can propose something but leave it to everyone to make the best decision together.
But you can just delegate. Within parameters that make sense for the company, let each seller have their modus operandi. Provided, of course, that it brings the desired results.
In this sense, qualification is essential. A good manager is restless and always looking to improve.
Use CRM to lead
How do you manage to have an assertive work, your team’s time optimized and important information to adapt your company’s sales process?
With the use of an Online CRM it is possible to have a much more complete sales management. A sales manager not only gets reports from each salesperson.
He also needs to have control over how sales are taking place as a whole across the company.
After all, you have recorded calls, multiple sales funnels, integrations with lead qualification tools (essential for pre-sales), and alerts on opportunities stagnation, among others.
With all this, it’s much easier to manage a commercial team and know which way to go to correct flaws, isn’t it?
Leaving the robotic work of, for example, copying and pasting emails every time you contact a prospect, your salespeople can be true business consultants.
The result of this?
Every contact with a lead will generate value for him, who will be able to understand how effectively the solution your company sells makes sense to him.
As a result, it is easier for him to make the decision to buy.
So, how can we help you?
If you are unsure about any of the terms we use in this article, please visit our sales glossary with all the terms.
Oh, of course. Enjoy and read all about the advantages and benefits of a sales CRM for companies.