A sales manager’s responsibilities include leading a team of sales representatives in an organization, and guiding them toward a common goal - but a truly successful sales manager does much more than that.
It's common for some sales managers to complain that their teams aren’t achieving goals set by the organization. But having a top performing sales team depends largely on the type of manager they have.
Some traits make all the difference between a mediocre sales manager and a successful sales manager.
Here are the 7 things a successful sales manager should never do:
Never Overwork Your Reps
There is a difference between expecting efficiency from your team and taking advantage of their hard work.
Overworking burns out reps and often drives away valuable team members from your organization. By asking too much from efficient reps, they can end up feeling like they are being punished for performing well.
If a sales manager wants to increase their team’s productivity, they must make sure that their team members receive raises, promotions, or title changes as incentives for their hard work.
Miscommunication can lead to delays and disorganization, as well as loss of resources and capital, which are all detrimental to businesses.
A good sales manager makes sure there is constant communication between members of the team. This ensures not only the free flow of information, but creates a more harmonious and healthy culture within your team.
Sales managers who promote effective communication within their teams ensure reps understand goals, processes, and priorities clearly, which in turn makes sales teams more successful.
Effective communication also empowers sales reps to build customer loyalty and trust when interacting with prospects, essential elements for relationship-building and business growth.
Never Ignore Contributions
Successful sales managers know the benefits of positive reinforcement.
Some reps are naturally motivated to work hard and contribute to the team, while some require external influence to realize about their own potential.
A good sales manager recognizes and celebrates their team members’ contributions, and uses positive reinforcement to bring out the best in their reps.
Great managers also communicate with their team to understand what makes them happy. For some people, public recognition is enough to keep them motivated. For others, money is the one and only motivating factor.
Successful sales managers give their team the confidence and incentives to achieve set goals.
Never Dishonor Commitments
Making a commitment with your team members is tricky. Days can be full of distractions, and it can often be challenging to stick to your commitments.
An unfaithful and untrustworthy manager can be very demotivating for a team. A successful sales manager understands the importance of honoring their promises in order to stay connected and on good terms with their team members.
Upholding commitments and being a person of your word makes you are worthy of your team’s trust, as well as their respect.
Successful sales managers set an example for their team.
Never Stop People from Pursuing Their Passions
Many sales managers are under the preconception that reps will lose focus and become less productive at work if they engage in personal hobbies and passions.
But a good sales manager understands the importance of encouraging reps to pursue their own interests in their off-time.
Studies suggest that salespeople who pursue their passions outside of work are five times more productive on the job, and are more effective at sales prospecting for their organization.
Encouraging employees to follow their passions also helps maintain job satisfaction, making your reps happier, and boosting their creative energy.
Never Avoid Taking Smart Risks
A poor sales manager is scared of failure, so they never take any bold action or risks. Fear of losing their position of power will lead them to embrace the status quo, which can stagnate a team.
Fear should not inhibit the decisions of a sales manager. Successful sales managers take calculated risks to break new ground and push the boundaries of what their team is capable of.
The sales market is fast-paced and time-sensitive. Good managers know that thoughtful risk-taking is not only part of the job, but the only way to thrive.
A competent sales manager cultivates a sense of courage within their team and motivates them to take calculated risks, with an eye toward reaching and surpassing their goals.
Never Strive to Impress at the Expense of Empowering Reps
Many sales managers often focus on showcasing their own skills as a salesperson. The motive of many such managers is only to show off for anyone who may be paying attention - and this is often a sign of a lack of confidence.
A good sales manager aims to empower their team with knowledge and skill, displaying humility and leadership instead of showcasing their own abilities. They understand it is not always about them, and the job of a sales manager is not the same as that of a sales rep.
Instead, great sales managers train their team on top selling techniques and strategies, such as establishing loyalty with customers and getting more prospects through sales referrals.
The best sales managers understand that their teams success starts with them. They are willing to take risks, and are open to learning and evolving. They invest themselves in team growth, and focus on empowering their team to achieve goals.
Successful sales managers also make sure communication is open and seamless within the function of their sales team.
Author Bio: Kavita Verma is a digital marketing expert and content marketer at Venngage, an online infographic and design platform. She has over seven years of experience in content writing. In her free time, she enjoys researching and writing about digital marketing topics.