Sales managers bring together the skills and talents of sales reps and channel them to realize the company’s sales goals.
As leaders, they sift through all sales activities, spot the gems and the kinks, and report their findings up the company totem. In the same vein, the sales manager is in charge of making sure the company’s vision is realized in practical action as they lead.
Sales managers bridge the company’s goals and the actual execution.
It’s an important and difficult job. And even with that crucial of a role, it’s still one of the most overlooked positions in terms of training and development.
It’s not uncommon that sales managers who don’t fit the job or don’t push for continuous development lag so severely that a big chunk of the sales organization suffers.
If you’re a sales manager, you know that small mistakes add up. That said, it’s your task to ensure that you do what it takes to make your team better while making yourself better.
Here are some common sales management mistakes you have to watch out for.
Poor time management
How many times have you pushed that 1-on-1 meeting with a troubled rep this week? You could argue that the days are just so filled to the brim, but most likely, you’re not managing your time well.
In sales, from reps to leaders, time management is a crucial skill. Making meetings, setting aside time for important tasks, and having enough hours to tick off everything on your to-do list are results of a well-managed schedule.
Everyone is busy. Sales leaders, even more so. It’s part of your job to improve the way you handle your countless responsibilities and be able to prioritize effectively like delegating tasks, attending meetings on time, and reporting to higher-ups on the dot.
Not encouraging rep growth
If you’re a sales manager fortunate to get a team of talented sales reps, you have to manage a ton of ambition with it. A lot of managers lose sight of the rep’s perspective–they are employees who want the best for themselves and will perform to fuel their ambitions. As a sales manager, you should be careful not to stifle rep growth. Help them develop their skills so they can grow as reps and do so within your sales organization. The alternative is a nightmare many sales managers deal with–high employee turnover.
Reps who quit work are usually those who feel like their ambition is not met with the same level of support or opportunities in their current organizations.
An effective sales manager never loses vision of their team’s future, pinpoints potentials and talents, and nurtures those attributes to help reps move closer to their ambitions.
Don’t be afraid to be straightforward in the way you speak to your team about career goals and opportunities, especially when discussing potential developments within your organization.
Sales process mistakes
Many sales managers make mistakes when it comes to carrying out the sales process in their team.s As the backbone of a company’s sales mantra and operations, not honoring the sales process can wreak havoc on a sales team. Here are some common mistakes sales managers make related to the sales process.
Not cross-checking actual calls to the sales process
The evaluation of a sales call is multi-factorial. When a sales manager asks a rep about a call and all they get is an all-in answer, the sales manager has to do necessary digging.
There is always space for improvement when it comes to sales conversations, especially when it comes to discussing the actual call against the laid out sales process. Was the execution near perfect that an evaluated call nets no commentary? Many sales managers take reps’ self-evaluation of a call at face value–as if all that matters is whether the deal was closed or not.
It’s your job to find out which part of the process your reps move away from the most. From there, you can make necessary adjustments like training and coaching activities.
Sales managers turn to coaching to develop better relationships with their reps as well as giving more focused pointers when they are needed. To become an effective coach, sales managers need to be masters of the sales process. Why? Because they need to coach in line with the process itself.
All coaching conversations and advice should reinforce the existing sales process. These coaching sessions build morale not only through motivational words but also through showing reps the correct way of doing things and cementing the importance of following the process in their minds.
All reps should be able to see each stage of the process as it unfolds during actual sales conversations. These coaching sessions should help them develop that skill.
Not setting up tools to support the sales process
Sales teams who don’t use CRM software and do not take advantage of sales acceleration solutions get beat by their competition. In using these tools, it’s important to ensure that they’re implemented in line with the sales process and best practices of your sales organization.
In particular, your sales process should be integrated with the CRM software your team uses. If not, reps cannot follow through with the steps outlined in your process. Associating various opportunities with particular stages of the sales process allow for smooth tracking, sorting, and management of all numbers generated by your team. This way, it’s easier to hold them accountable.
While there are a lot of other mistakes sales managers make when running teams, these above are the most common. Spotting and correcting these mistakes will help you be back on the right track and spark greater success in the teams you are handling.