Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off and you’ve been promoted, and now you are a sales manager. Being a new sales manager can be very exciting, but it can also be very challenging. You will face new hurdles that you will have to deal with while managing your sales team effectively. To get you started on the right foot, I have five tips for newly-promoted sales managers.
1. Respect is Earned, not Given
One thing you need to understand early is that your new title of sales manager does not automatically give you the respect of your sales reps. Your sales reps are used to viewing you as a peer and it will take time before they view you as their manager. In the beginning, your sales reps will challenge every decision you make. Put an end to that by setting clear boundaries and expectations. Establish rules and enforce them quickly. Becoming a manager doesn’t give you the opportunity to slack off. You need to set the example for your sales reps by being the hardest worker in the building. The harder you work, the harder they will want to work for you.
2. Manage from the Front
You can not be an effective sales manager if you stay in your new office all day long. Great sales managers spend a majority of their time in the field with their sales reps. Being in the field with your sales reps allows you to witness their strengths and weaknesses. Learning more about your reps will help you to guide and manage them better.
3. Keep Track of the Data
It’s crucial that you keep track of your team’s sales numbers and performance. Some of the key metrics you should be tracking are closing ratios, conversion rates through each sales stage, average sale price, and sales cycle. Following these metrics closely allows you to discover who your top performers are and which reps need improvement.
4. Not all Sales Reps are Alike
New sales managers often make the mistake of expecting everyone on their team to operate exactly the same, with the same level of intensity. All your sales reps have their own unique personalities and skills. What works for one rep might not work for the next rep. You also can’t expect for your sales reps to become a carbon copy of you. Create an environment that allows your reps to experiment with new sales techniques.
5. Be Flexible
Sometimes things don’t always go according to plan. Great sales managers don’t get flustered. They are flexible and easily adjust. Recognizing and embracing flexibility will help you adapt to difficult situations more easily. Being flexible will also help you when it comes to making your sales goals. If you’re closing in on the end of the month and you realize you’re going to come up short of your goal, you can hire new sales reps or have your top performers take on some more prospects. The more flexible you are, the more you will be able to succeed.
The most important thing to remember as a sales manager is to take care of your people. Next, embrace the challenges of your new position and you’ll attain the level of success you desire and deserve. Follow these five tips and you will grow into a great sales manager.
Founder of RedRock Leadership