Leaving ‘the funnel’ and transitioning to a sales manager post?
So, before anything else—just being a top-notch salesperson is not enough to become successful at the management level. Don’t be discouraged because you can learn how to be a good sales manager.
And we’re here to help with new sales manager tips. Let’s get you ready to be a successful sales manager.
Before That—What EXACTLY is a Sales Manager?
In practice, the definition of a sales manager varies in different organizations. For instance, you could work for a B2B company, and the responsibilities will differ.
However, few factors are always common for all sales managers from all sorts of organizations. Connecting to that, the three ideas below describe what is it being a great sales manager means.
- Responsible for building the teams.
- Supposed to lead the entire team.
- Responsible for managing the team of sales reps.
How to Be a Good Sales Manager: 9 Tips to Climb the Ladder
Outside those three facets, there are many more things a sales manager is supposed to possess. The following pointers will help you get down to the nitty-gritty of becoming a sales manager.
1. Identify your managerial capabilities
Before starting your job as one of the front-line personnel of an organization, you must contemplate whether you actually have the ability to become a sales manager.
To evaluate yourself for the role, you can ask yourself a couple of questions. Here is a checklist that you are supposed to consider.
- What kind of leader are you?
- What kind of management style do you employ?
- What kind of coaching style do you use?
- What are your areas of strength and improvement?
These are important to figure out because if you have weaknesses on any side, you better work on them first. Otherwise, although you know how to be great at sales—we are sad to say that you won’t be suitable for the job.
On top of that, when you discover your strength as a team leader, you can share those with other individuals in your team. The impact doesn’t end here! When your team is aware of your strength, they can identify the best way to collaborate with you.
2. Empower your team
Certainly, you are responsible for leading your team. But it’s not just about leading. With all the other sales manager ideas, note that you are supposed to empower your team.
How to do that? It’s actually simple—take or form chances to know your team better. In fact, you must learn about each team member!
We know it isn’t easy to do that, but it’s essential for achieving the collective goal of a team. Although it won’t be easy to know every one of your team thoroughly, there are some ways that can serve multiple purposes. For example, you guys can have lunch together, get to know each other, and talk about tasks.
Once you know each one of your team members, you will know what certain sales reps’ strengths are. That way, you can employ for task accordingly. And as a result, you get to achieve a sales target successfully.
Remember that this plan for knowing every team member will go a long way.
3. Figure out how your team wants to be managed
This is basically an extension of the previous section. You can see that we have suggested you put in the effort to know your team. Of course, you will have various kinds of meetings.
But before any other meeting, you need to conduct a meeting with the team members individually.
And the questions that you can ask your team members are –
- How do you define success?
- What is your strength?
- What do you improve?
- What would keep you from accomplishing a task?
- What qualities do you believe a good leader should possess?
- How would you prefer to be led?
- How do you prefer to be given criticism?
- How can I assist you in improving?
This will help you gain insight into all the team members primarily. Actually, this should be your first priority after joining the team.
4. Make a weighted pipeline for the entire team
This is a critical part of our discussion on how to be a good sales director.
As a sales manager, one of your tasks will be giving your head of sales a weekly or monthly forecast. You know that a weighted pipeline provides a picture of the value of each prospective deal based on the current stage of its sales process.
Additionally, early-stage agreements are weighted less than those that may complete. And until a deal closes, no deal will have 100% value.
So, if you make a weighted pipeline for the whole team, they will bear that in mind to try header to sell.
5. Establish your own hiring procedure
Surely, you will be helping your team members to grow. But first, you need some people who are as motivated as you. Besides, you will be looking for many skills in them while hiring.
Note that you will be directly in charge of selecting new team members. But you can also take help from another team member if you deem someone able.
On the other hand, your organization will have a hiring strategy. But you will also need to create a profile for your ideal applicant.
6. Be open to constructive criticism
You must learn how to see each day as a learning opportunity if you want to succeed as a sales manager. Actually, you will advance more quickly if you embrace constructive criticism in the quest of how to be a sales manager.
This way, you will demonstrate to higher management that you understand it’s not always just criticism. As a result, you will become someone they can trust to deal with.
7. Let the team handle problems first
As a new manager, this could be quite challenging. We know you are most likely to be successful as a single contributor yourself. So, it’s tempting to do your representatives’ tasks that they are struggling with.
Don’t do it! With your assistance, your team will develop for sure. But their efforts should come first. Most importantly, letting your team work through issues independently is empowering.
To do that, instruct them to walk you through the steps of how they arrived, and if they ask, give them feedback. If you let them come up with their own answer, that’s when you just tell them what to do. This way, you can enhance the confidence of your team.
8. Networking is always essential
Most of the post has concentrated on how to become a sales manager. But networking is crucial on a managerial level. This way, you will bring more value to the table.
For that, you can join local business networking organizations and forge relationships online through business forums to look for new prospects. Also, you can use the resources at your disposal to network with decision-makers at other businesses.
9. Follow the existing sales managers
Simply seeing others who are already adept at something is one of the best methods for learning how to do it yourself. That’s why you need to study the most senior leaders in your organization to understand how to manage sales.
To do that, you can use LinkedIn to discover other sales managers in charge of huge and prosperous sales teams. Next, you can offer to buy them coffee in exchange for a few minutes of their wisdom.
Bonus tip: Review your credentials for the role
Alongside following the sales manager tips, we have provided so far; you need to keep your profile updated to get the role. That means you must confirm you meet the requirements to roll in as a sales manager.
Typically, companies want to recruit someone who has passed a standard level of education. Considering that, you need a minimum bachelor’s degree.
Well, although a degree is not the ultimate confirmation of having the targeted solid skills, organizations need to find a well-rounded employee to take on the responsibilities.
But what if you want to have a bachelor’s degree? You still have many more options to showcase your expertise as a leader. For example – you can obtain some certifications in sales.
Also, we suggest you update your resume with certain achievements related to sales, such as—some revenue reports of the companies you have worked for. This way, you can express your value as a leader.
And it will help you out a great deal if you can secure a couple of endorsements from some established management professionals.
Ready to Become a Good Sales Manager?
Many individuals in this sector lack managerial skills. Because they generally get hired based on their amazing selling skill. Sales Master Certification Can Help You Become More Successful in Your Professional Career.
The advice you got on what makes a good sales manager will assist you in getting ready for the job. But you should not stop only these 9 techniques to be a great sales manager.
It’s important to set good examples for your team by concentrating on your integrity and ongoing progress.