Sales management is one of those things that many people struggle to define, but they know it when they see it. Here at BTM we aim to shed light on this mysterious art, so that sales teams everywhere can benefit from sales management done well.
So what do you need to be a good sales manager?
The framework about is what I use to talk about the variety of skills that a sales manager needs to be aware of and constantly improving.
Which of these skills is most important?
If I had to prioritize these skills, I’d put communication somewhere up at the top of the list. You can’t get buy in from your team if you can’t communicate a vision, or communicate that you care about each of your team members. You can not earn the right to hold a sales person accountable unless you’ve clearly communicated the expectations, and repeated them many times.
One key component of coaching and developing sales people is patience, and willingness to repeat yourself. No one learns everything the first time they hear it explained. For example, if you have a sales person that’s struggling with something subjective like tone. You’re going to have to come up with examples of different types of tones, and differen scenarios in which tone matters. You’ll probably have to come up with one set of examples just to confirm the sales person can “hear” what you mean by tone, and then another set of examples of help them practice.
All this to say:
The difference between good and great sales managers is the ability to repeat yourself without sounding like you are repeating yourself.
Why is this so important?
It keeps things fresh! No one likes to be told the same thing over and over again. Let’s say you’re coaching a team member to ask for the business on a call. If you’ve only got one example of how to ask for this business, this will get boring. As a manager you need to go the extra mile to come up with 10 different ways they could do this.
It keeps people learning. Most people will not learn something the first time they hear it. Maybe they didn’t connect with the message, or they didn’t have the context to understand it . As a sales manager, yet again, you need to go the extra mile to communicate it in different ways because you never know which method will connect best with which team member. The worst thing you can do is to keep dong the same thing, that’s the definition of insanity!
Learning is not a point in time, it’s a constant process.