A hallmark of a great sales manager is being a good communicator. It matters what you say and how you say it.
For example, front-line sales managers are the critical screens through which messages travel from top management to the sales team. Having a clear-shared vision of the strategic direction of the company is one of the key success factors for building a high performing sales team.
Sales managers also have to be good communicators if they are going to be effective coaches. These are but two examples for why sales managers must be able to craft and deliver clear and compelling messages.
Sales managers who have mastered the art and science of communication follow these principles:
- They use actions to support the “talk”. For example, if sales managers believe sales reps should spend more time meeting with customers, they start holding their sales teams accountable for spending more time in the field.
- They intentionally share messages using language that ties back to the salesperson’s concerns. For example, let’s say you have a sales rep that isn’t making quota. Feedback on actions that might help him improve the sales rep’s selling skills will be better received when the suggestions demonstrate how they well help achieve quota.
- They don’t bog down the conversation with excessive detail. Specifics are important, but there is detail and there is detail. Before the conversation, figure out how much detail you need to share – based on the issue at hand and the salesperson’s preference and ability for handling detailed suggestions.
- Important information should not be shared in 140 characters. How you say it is not just the words you use, but also the medium you choose to share those words. Texting and even email are great for short messages, quick updates, or even immediate congratulations. Important messages are still best done face-t0-face … or at least voice-to-voice.
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