Managing people is rarely easy, and sales management has the added pressure of sales goals which makes it even more challenging. But a great sales manager can mean the difference between success and failure for an organization and can make themselves and their teams a fortune in sales.
To succeed in sales management, always follow the ten sales management commandments. Here they are:
I. Thou shalt not forget thy was once a salesperson
If you’ve never worked as a sales rep, then you have no business being a sales manager. And when you’re managing salespeople, always remember that you used to be one. This will help you empathize with your staff and understand what it takes to make a successful salesperson.
II. Thou shalt not micromanage
The reason you shouldn’t micromanage isn’t because it’s annoying, but because it’s ineffective. If your salespeople can’t succeed without you hovering over their shoulder and watching their every move, then you either have the wrong salespeople or they have the wrong leadership. Your time should be spent developing processes and providing support, not looming over people’s shoulders.
III. Remember thy ongoing trainings
Your sales staff needs to stay up to date on training and it’s up to you to ensure that they do. From product training to sales training, it’s not wasted time if it helps your team perform. And always make sure you attend so that you’re not asking people to do something you’re unwilling to do yourself.
IV. Honor thy promises to thy salespeople
To gain and keep the respect of your sales staff, it’s imperative that you always keep your word. If you make a promise, you have to keep it and if you think you might not be able to, then don’t make it. When your team sees that you always do what you say you’re going to, they will trust you and work harder for you.
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V. Thou shalt kill thy underperforming sales reps
It might sound harsh, but if you’ve worked with poorly-performing salespeople and offered them support and they still can’t step it up, you have to cut them loose. Some people will never be good at sales, and sometimes they’re just a bad fit with the company. But there’s nothing more damaging to a sales organization than keeping poor performers and hoping that they magically improve.
VI. Thou shalt overcome customer problems when needed
Just because you’re in management doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have to deal with customers. In fact, you’ll probably deal with the worst ones more than ever before because any time there’s a problem your salespeople can’t solve, you’ll be the one handling it. Sometimes, a sales manager can be the only one able to calm an angry customer or solve a major client problem.
VII. Thou shalt not steal thy coworker’s staff
While it might be tempting to steal the best salespeople from another team, you might end up creating problems for yourself by doing so. Don’t try to pull off any trickery and instead focus on making the team you have the best it can possibly be. Great managers can take average sales reps and make them perform at above-average levels.
VIII. Thou shalt not covet thy employee’s commissions
It’s a fact of life that salespeople oftentimes make more money than their sales managers. But never dwell on that, even if your employee is making more in commissions than you are. There are many other advantages to working in management, and besides, the better your employees do, the more money you’ll make.
IX. Thou shalt embrace new technologies
Sales is changing, whether we like it or not. Emerging technologies are creating seemingly unfair advantages for companies willing to try them. Spiro, for instance, uses artificial-intelligence to recommend which of your prospects should be called next so that you will have the highest likelihood of turning it into a closed deal.
X. Thou shalt always be closing
Just because you’re in sales management doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be closing. Quite the contrary, your entire life will be devoted to closing every deal in your employee’s pipeline instead of just your own. Focus on closing as many of those deals as possible and you’ll be a major success.
Also published on Medium.