Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is it You? Or is it your Sales Manager?

When it comes to job satisfaction, many studies have pointed out that one of the most important key indicators of high job satisfaction is your boss. Why shouldn't this be any different for salespeople. Unfortunately, I've had many salespeople come to me after just a few months employment and confess that they've really never been managed before.

As a Sales Manager, there are some key elements to create an environment to achieving your #1 goal, which is:

  1. Perfect alignment between the salespeople and the sales manager. To be successful, everything must line up. Both people should be measured and paid on the same metrics so that all motivations align. This way, when the salesperson wins, the managers wins too.

  2. Sales Managers must be great coaches. This usually means that the manager must know more about salesmanship than the salespeople working for him/her. Managers must have "walked a mile in their shoes" and understand the challenges associated with selling.

  3. Sales Managers must be Leaders. Leadership is a seperate skill set than simply managing people. You must set vision, develop objectives/goals. You must think both tactically and strategically. You must lead by example and want sales success as bad as your reps do.

  4. Sales Managers must continue to learn new sales methods, attend training courses, study leadership and seek advice from a mentor.

  5. Not all great salespeople are great managers, and it takes a unique individual to rise to the role of sales management. All too often do I see people who were great at selling and only become frustrated at what amounts to a completely different job when they are promoted.

If your Sales Manager fails to demonstrate these traits, and you find yourself struggling, ask yourself how much of the problem is you versus your manager. Maybe it's time to shine up the resume and find a leader to really support your efforts.

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