What is Good Sales Management?
Career Path : Management
You probably earned your manager position from your hard work on the sales floor. You have the numbers that go with a great performance, but if this is your first time in charge you may be a bit nervous about how to get your staff performing well. Even if you inherited a great department, you’re probably wondering how you can keep ongoing good sales management practices and even what that is.
Sales management is somewhat self-explanatory in the naming, but much harder in practice. It is the means by which you institute your sales strategy to individuals and teams, and make sure goals are achieved.
Building on What You Know
In sales, more is always better. Some people have a natural knack for sales and will excel with little or no encouragement, but for most people you need an ongoing dialog and sales training. Indeed it is actively harmful to treat good salespeople like the only way they got that way was to be born closing deals and making new contacts. Many of your staff will be middling performers, and a few doing just what it takes to get by, and you have to rely on them too. Furthermore even seeming stars can always get at least a bit better.
Your industry determines your best suited methods for selling. If you’ve reached a manager position I don’t need to tell you that there’s a difference between selling encyclopaedias and software licences. True, there are plenty of commonalities in sales strategy, from the numbers game to relationship building, but your leg work and approach is going to change with the nature of the customer. As a newly hatched manager, you may even be looking after people selling in niches you’re not so confident in!
To reach a goal, you must first define it. Chances are, some of your goals are going to come from upper management, but you’ll have to interpret greater goals so they can be broken down for your staff. Unless you can communicate the sales strategy in easy to digest bites, your position has little reason to exist.
It’s not all going to be roses. The tough stuff, having to cut off employees who aren’t doing well, is going to be one of your biggest headaches. However, before you have to fire someone, you have a little more leeway. If someone is going under the ax, respectfully make sure they know they’re doing poorly and ask them to work with you on a relief strategy. Poor performers can always be sent off to sales training courses as last ditch effort, but they still need to demonstrate they can take advantage of a last chance. If they are active in coming up with the solution, they are much more likely to follow it.
Visit Fusion Learning Inc. for more information on sales management.