High-performing sales teams normally have one thing in common: a high-performing sales manager at the helm.
When it comes to sales recruitment, finding a sales manager with strong leadership ability is crucial to establish, maintain and manage a successful sales team. The best sales managers unequivocally show these top 5 abilities in interviews and on the job:
1. Developing Individuals
Rather than treating a sales team as a single unit, good sales managers will focus on the individuals within the team. They work hard to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their team members and understand what drives each of them. By adopting a flexible, personal approach, they actively support individuals in achieving their specific goals. Career visioning can be a useful tool in guiding a career path towards the role of senior sales manager and helping individuals focus on their future goals within the organisation.
2. Reinforcing And Incentivising
Aside from implementing and managing an official incentive structure that includes salary and bonuses, an effective sales manager will make every effort to recognise and reward good performance, wherever possible. On-the-spot praise, celebrating success, promoting and developing high flyers and instigating in-house competitions are all positive ways to reinforce key behaviours and incentivise good performance.
3. Coaching and Providing Support
A top sales manager will believe in the ongoing development of the greater team, and help them to overcome challenges and achieve their maximum potential. This can be in the form of one-on-one coaching and clear objective-setting, as well as facilitating regular training opportunities. Open, honest dialogue will need to take place between a sales manager and employees, and a good sales manager will make sure continual two-way feedback happens.
4. Motivating and Inspiring
Sales can be highly pressurised, difficult and sometimes disheartening. Morale can have a big impact on the success of the team and a sales manager should recognise this. The ability to inspire confidence, offer encouragement, give direction, and boost energy and morale are all integral to effective sales leadership.
5. Sharing Industry And Product Knowledge
A brilliant sales manager will know their product or service – and their industry – inside out. They’ll share insights, industry updates and relevant information with their team on a regular basis to help grow the knowledge of the team, ultimately equipping them to deal with the diversity and challenges of managing customers.