Content about sales management
Sales Management can be easy. The best way to make it easy is to keep it simple, and that’s what this page is all about.
What is Sales Management
The answer to this question seems obvious. But is it? I’ve been doing it for more than 20 years, and sometimes I wonder if I know what sales management is. Perhaps above all, that’s what I love about it!
On the surface, sales management is managing sales, right? But what does that mean? Is it people, culture, sales process, customers, technology, training, marketing, expenses, forecasts? The list goes on and varies a lot from one organization to another.
Creating a Sales Culture with Sales Management
Most of all, salespeople want to spend their time selling. So as a sales manager, a big part of your role is to help create a culture that supports sales.
How do you do this? A good question, indeed.
Encourage Participation in Training
One of the best ways to create a great sales culture is to include different functions in the company in sales training so that they get to know the sales team, and vice versa. That way, everyone learns they’re on the same team.
Articulate a Vision to the Team
Salespeople are independent, and still, they love to be coached and lead by a dynamic leader who can show them a vision of what is possible and how they will get there.
Great Sales Management Keeps Goals and Forecasts Realistic
There is nothing that will destroy a sales culture faster than goals that everyone except the leader knows are unattainable. How do you do this? Involve the sales team in setting the budget.
For instance, I ask each sales rep to give an account-by-account budget of what they believe they will do next year. Next, they add to that the number of new accounts they believe they’ll win during the year. And finally, I roll all of the territories up, give them to our CFO, and arrive at a budget that everyone is on-board with.
Do Sales With Them, And Not For Them
It’s one thing to model good selling skills, and another to take over and let the sales rep stand and watch. When you're in sales management, if you want to be the hero during the sales call, you’re in the wrong job.
The hero should always be the customer, the sales rep the guide, and you as the interested observer. The best sales reps see themselves as Executives of the company. Because they are.
When Things Aren’t Going Well, Sales Management Must Act
Similar to working with them, when it’s going bad, act. Sales management turning a blind eye to poor performance can quickly kill a sales culture, too.
When someone is behind, seek first to help by looking at:
- Year-over-year sales performance.
- Sales Pipeline Activity and Velocity.
- Sales related activities.
I still remember the first time I had to fire a sales rep. It was hard. He earned it because he wasn’t working. He had a family and was a fun guy to be around. But keeping him on the team was like cancer. And do you know what’s funny, it turned out to be best for him, too.
Sales Management is an exciting profession. And there are lots of good ways to learn about it if you are a new manager, or just want to improve your skills.
One of my favorite books on sales management is Mike Weinberg’s “Sales Management Simplified: The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results From Your Sales Team.” (Affiliate Link)
Sales management is critical to creating a great sales culture. That’s why I like to write about, discuss, and experiment with it. As a result, the content here is just the beginning.
There are blog posts below where you can learn more.
If you’d like a free pdf that I put together about how to make your customers and prospects feel special, fill out the form below. Or, if you’d like to schedule a time to discuss something you’re working on, email me at Joel@makemarketingeasy.com.
Good luck and good marketing and selling!
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