5 Simple Strategies for Building Sales Managers into Sales Leaders

It’s no secret that sales managers play a critical role in an organization’s success — they lead and inspire their teams to reach their full potential, hit their quotas month after month, and help increase their company’s market share. Their team members look to them for guidance and direction, so they must be strong leaders who can provide clear vision and effective strategies. All sales managers, even natural-born leaders, need to learn or brush up on certain skills to succeed.

So what separates a good sales manager from a great one?

A handful of different attributes make up a great sales leader, but we’ve narrowed it down to five simple strategies that any sales manager can use to turn their team into a revenue-generating sales machine.

1. Set the tone for success from the start.

Show your team the path to success.  Most salespeople and sales managers have the will to win and the desire to be successful in sales.  But how many have the will to prepare to win?  As a sales leader, you have to prepare and equip yourself for success, which means doing activities that might be uncomfortable at times to set the tone for success from the start, ensuring your team achieves their desired results. 

But how?

Coaching is the #1 activity you should be doing more than 50% of your sales manager’s time.  These activities include debriefing behaviors, evaluating attitudes, developing mindsets, preparing for conversations, reviewing activities, and gaining alignment on their sales approach.

Remember, a sales manager’s job is not to grow sales but to grow salespeople in quality and quantity.  The expectation is that if sales managers focus on growing their people in quality and quantity, the company’s sales and profits will grow.  One critical role the sales manager has is to keep their salespeople motivated.  Developing a system with proper prevention and intervention strategies.  There is more to motivation than offering rewards or threatening repercussions.

2. Invest in your team’s development.

Investing in your team’s development is one of the best ways to ensure long-term success. This means providing them opportunities to grow and learn, such as access to training resources, coaching, and mentorship programs. It also means giving them regular feedback to continue improving their skillset, which you can do by running effective team meetings and one-on-one sessions to motivate your sales team. When you invest in your team’s development, you show them you are committed to their success.

3. Create a positive culture of accountability. 

A positive culture of accountability starts with determining your goals and expectations for your salespeople, then hiring people who align with your core values, fit your company culture, and have the desire to achieve those same goals. You want to hire people who are unconditionally committed to doing whatever it takes to meet your expectations and are able to be held accountable for meeting their goals and objectives. 

But it also goes beyond that. 

You need to focus on developing a plan for success that arms your sales leaders with an array of sales management tools that allow you to produce results regardless of the economy or competition. When you create a positive culture of accountability, you encourage your team to push outside of their comfort zone to reach new levels of success. 

This means setting high standards and expectations for your team and holding them accountable for meeting those standards. As we’ve covered before in a previous post, sales managers shouldn’t tolerate mediocrity in their organization. It also means setting a positive example by always behaving and speaking in a way that reflects your organization’s values. When you set the tone for success, you create an environment where your team can learn, grow, and thrive.

4. Encourage team collaboration.

Team collaboration is another great way to help your team reach its full potential. One critical aspect of these meetings is engaging your team in open conversations around decisions upfront, which helps get buy-in from the entire organization and usually results in making higher quality decisions for the team overall.  Decisions that the team develops and understands prepare them to execute their roles effectively since they have some skin in the game. Allow the team to speak freely and first while saving your opinions until the end.

When team members work together to achieve a common goal, they can learn from each other and build better relationships, which is what buyer facilitation is all about. This type of collaboration also encourages creativity and innovation, which can lead to new and innovative ways of reaching your target market. Sales is one of the most interactive and social careers available, so encouraging team collaboration is an excellent way to help your sales team thrive.

5. Celebrate success independently and together.

When an individual sales rep achieves his or her goals, you should celebrate their success through performance reviews and feedback sessions. The goal is to stay aligned with the Sales Rep, offering congratulations in areas where they are performing well and exceeding expectations, identifying gaps, and continuing to work together to develop a go-forward plan.  These various feedback points make the sales rep feel valued and heard.

On an organizational level, when your team achieves success, it’s important to celebrate it together. This not only builds camaraderie but also reinforces your organization’s values and reinforces company culture. Any great sales leader knows that recognition is vital to maintain a motivated and engaged workforce.

By following these simple strategies, you can turn your sales team into a revenue-generating machine that consistently hits its quotas month after month and build your sales managers into sales leaders who inspire their teams to reach new heights. When you set the tone for success, invest in your team’s development, and create a positive culture of accountability, you lay the foundation for long-term success. Implement these strategies today and see how much your team can achieve. 
Want more in-depth professional guidance and sales leadership training for your sales leaders? Contact us today.

Topaz is changing the way the world perceives, values, hires, and trains salespeople.

We transform not only how people sell, hire, and manage salespeople, but also how they build relationships with others.  Many of our clients tell us how they use the skills they have learned through our training and coaching to improve how they communicate with their family and friends, and the positive impact it has had on all their relationships.

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