Sales don’t occur in isolation; they happen when you have a great product being pitched to customers by an engaged and enthusiastic sales team. However, managing a sales team isn’t easy.
There can be a fine line between trying to encourage and push for greater results and becoming overwhelming, suffocating and setting unattainable KPIs.
We completely understand at Tubular that getting the balance right is every Sales Manager’s dream. So how do you go about doing this?
Leadership v management
There is a key difference between these two concepts; management is about looking at metrics, key performance indicators, deadlines and results to drive performance. This can lead to sales teams being over-managed, which can have negative repercussions when staff feel like they’re never doing anything right. While these are important aspects to keep in mind, an effective sales team usually has a manager who is ‘leading’ the team. They are acting as a guiding force, showing their team how it ought to be done, encouraging them to achieve their potential, and motivating them with rewards along the way. It doesn’t have to be anything overly fancy – perhaps it’s a case of bringing donuts in for when people hit their targets. It’ll soon boost team morale, which can go a long way towards gaining effective sales.
Keep everyone on track
Using simple sales pipeline software such as Tubular can play a key role in managing a sales team. Using a single easy-to-use platform, your whole team is able to instantly visualise your sales pipeline without needing to spend endless time trying to update it or decipher it. This will help them in their interactions with clients, turning cold leads into paying customers. It means more time selling, with greater energy for closing deals. With a clear sales forecast and revenue stream, your entire sales team can get on board with achieving your company goals.
As a sales manager, it is your job to create an office environment that people want to work in. The atmosphere and mood can be a huge player in how effective your team are. If there is one negative person in the room, this can serve to bring down everyone else around them. Likewise, if there is a productive and motivated buzz, this energy will help to keep momentum high. Often this culture will trickle down from the top, and can be reflective on how the management team engage, communicate and interact with staff. However, if any negativity does arise, it is important to nip this in the bud quickly.
Build your team
Your team is only as good as the staff you hire. Find the best talent and get them on your team now. The saying goes “Pay peanuts, get monkeys” so don’t scrimp on getting the right people for the right price. They may cost you more up front, but in the long-run they will get you a huge amount of extra business, most likely won’t need so much training, will be easier to manage effectively, will make less costly mistakes, and will be easier to retain, meaning you won’t need to spend unnecessary money on compensation packages or re-hiring. Getting the greatest team behind you will be your strongest asset, and will be an investment that pays off over time when seeking to reach your organisational goals.
Put in place standards and schedules
When a company has a clear routine, set structure, and guidelines that need to be followed, everyone on your sales team will be able to work from the same page. It will drive expectation and also ensure there is no misunderstanding about processes or what needs to be done. A sales team will thrive in an organised environment with clear sales and management processes. There will also be less time needed to review their work, especially if real-time tracking and instant feedback is in place. This means more time selling, less time dealing with paperwork.
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