idBos.com – Boss Time! From Seller to Sales Manager? Follow These Tips for the New Challenge. You are an excellent salesman and now they are about to promote you to Sales Manager. How to do it in the best way?
Let’s start from the most basic principle: one of the most complicated tasks for any Manager (project leader, manager, etc.) is to know how to properly manage and guide his team towards the achievement of a common goal. Much more complicated becomes a good Sales Manager when we are talking about bringing bread to the table of the company.
In the sales area, the manager needs to pay special attention to everyone having their goals clear, in knowing the tools to reach them and they need to receive feedback or constant feedback on their work. Sales are always competitive, there is always a prize for the “best seller of the month” and many times the best salesman of a company is promoted to sales manager.
And it sounds logical, right? If someone is a good seller, they will be a good sales manager. However, if the new sales manager does not have the necessary skills to manage a team of people and share his knowledge that led him to be the best salesperson with his team, he will be immediately frustrated and will fail in the attempt.
Imagine it like this: it’s like putting the best goal scorer on the team to handle the whole team. That is, just because that person reaches and exceeds his goals, does not mean he is able to achieve those results in the rest of the team. It takes a lot of work, but as we have said before, being a good manager or leader is a competition that can be learned. It’s like a muscle that needs to be exercised. And like all muscle, the more you exercise, the more strength you take. How can you learn to be a good sales manager? It’s a long road, but to begin with, you can do it by the following:
Ask for guidance
You do not have to “know” how to operate a computer. You can ask for help and there is nothing wrong with that. Just make sure that if there is something you are seeing that you will not be able to achieve, ask for help quickly. Do not wait to have the problem on you, ask for help from an expert that you already know, find a mentor, read all the advice you can, talk to people who have already gone through your same situation.
Learning a new competence and learning to manage a team is a challenge that will lead you to search and use all available resources. The more you do this, the more you practice, the more muscle you exercise, and the more opportunities you have for a successful team.
Know and master the process
As scientists: do everything with precision. See how other sales managers do it, make your hypothesis, experiment with your team and form your own theory of how to manage your people. The more objective you are, the better you can do things and above all you can repeat the same process (which led you to success) in different situations and with different people.
“Mapping your sales process”, that is, identifying each of the steps that integrate it, will help you to know how to do each step in the best way or will help you identify those steps that need to be improved or even changed. This will allow you to share your “formula of success” with the rest of your team. Remember that before you try to help others, you first need to understand and be clear about what made you a good salesperson. So that later you can replicate this in each one of them.
Show your team the way
The role of sales managers has changed over time. It is no longer about being a controller at all and giving orders all day. It’s about understanding and supporting your team, listening to them. Being a manager who gets carried away by his “boss” position and thinks that everyone has to obey him just for the mere fact of being the manager, is a false belief that can lead to failure with your team. It is more important to communicate a vision, communicate the goals, make each of your salespeople try to think for themselves how they will contribute to achieve a goal together. Fortunately those managers who used fear to manage their work teams are far away. Motivating and guiding each member of your team will help them grow and improve with each challenge they encounter.
Show them your hand
As long as your team is successful, so will you be. As much as you are an excellent salesperson, if your work team is not able to replicate your model and help you achieve your goals, you will not be successful. You need to be a good coach for them, have a daily communication to help them plan their sales activities and get the best value out of their time. It is not only about giving orders, but about accompanying the execution of some of them. Be always available especially when difficult moments arise.
Passion in what you do
While having good sales leadership is a competence that can be learned, it is necessary to make sure that this is a position that you really want to occupy and fulfill in your life. All your passion and enthusiasm for what you do is finally what will inspire your work team to achieve their goals.
“All you have to do is sell.” Really?
And please, do not make the mistake that most managers say! Jason Jordan in his book Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance gives a fabulous account of all the mistakes that sales managers have.
But the number one is when the Manager tells his salespeople that “the only thing they have to do is sell and reach the goal.” That’s like when they say “you just have to do your job well”.
We all know that we are in a job to do the best we can. And especially if we are in the sales area, it is more than obvious that we have to sell and reach the number or goal. When a sales person approaches you to ask you “What do I have to do?” Take some time to sit down with him and help him plan his sales strategy. Remember when you were in that same position and collaborate with your team to be the best versions of themselves.