Whether you’ve had your team for a while or just inherited one, sales team management can be a challenge. Salespeople tend to have outward personalities and strong opinions. They also have a tendency to do things “their way” since that’s what has worked (based on their definition) in the past.
I can’t stress enough that you apply the adage, “trust but verify” here. They probably are good at their jobs or they wouldn’t be on the team in the first place. But are they sacrificing brand consistency and reputation for immediate gain and success? And are you involved enough in their work to know that what they’re doing is good for the long-term health of your company?
The great financier, Andrew Carnegie, once said, “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say, I watch what they do.” I’ve always applied this to my coaching of sales teams. It’s important that you see and hear what your team members are doing so that your company’s value proposition is being communicated effectively and in “one voice.”
Understanding the above, here are my Do’s and Don’ts for your success as a sales team manager:
Sales Manager Do’s:
- Assess EACH person by measuring how well they listen and how well they tailor their recommendations
- Get in the field with them regularly and watch them sell
- Meet weekly and review the activity scorecard that you have BOTH agreed to use
- Know their personal and professional goals
Sales Manager Don’ts:
- Trust what they say needs fixing until you observe it yourself
- Avoid presenting your critique of their sales process
- Allow their numbers to decline without changing their approach
- Forget what THEY said is important to them professionally as you craft your recommendations for improvement
How many of these are you doing…and not doing? Keep them in mind each day/week as you work through managing your sales teams. Being consistent in how you approach that responsibility will make a big difference and keep your team motivated out in the field!