Sales Team Management Best PracticesAssociation of Business Training
September 18, 2013 — 826 views
Sales managers who have to manage their sales force on a day to day basis know how challenging it can be to raise the level of motivation for a team. Smart managers know the strategies and skills of leading the team to meet goals.
Importance of Leading from the Front
Top sales leaders know how important it is to lead their sales force from the front. This strategy is commonly used in the military, because in a dynamic team, nothing works better than leading by example. Sales managers who want the sales team to meet goals must lead from the front. This serves well for their motivation.
The leader must take the initiative. They must be decisive and lead by example if they want their sales force to perform. Taking the initiative means being able to decide when to act. It does not mean doing the job that sales persons are expected to do.
There will be data, information and other critical inputs, but the eventual decision to act upon it will have to be taken by the manager. A successful sales manager is proactive and knows the strategies involved in managing the team successfully.
Culture – Getting into the Winning Habit
The fourth habit in Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is “Think Win Win”. The culture of winning is not about competition or someone winning at the expense of someone losing. It is about the collective winning in which every stakeholder profits. When applied in context of the sales force, the habit of winning does not end with closing a deal and meeting the sales goal, but also includes being useful to the client, the team, and the prospect. Getting into the winning habit can serve as a great motivation because when you win, everyone wins.
Getting into the winning habit is a matter of culture and mindset. The organizational culture of winning is based on being useful to the business, community, society and the individual. The culture helps in molding the habit towards effective performance, driven by the attitude of winning.
Building the Team
Building a successful team can be difficult and challenging but also hugely rewarding at the same time. A sales manager wanting to build a sales force must keep in mind that the business runs on sales and that no business can survive unless the sales goal is met. In other words, you are going to build a stellar team. However, hiring the right people is as critical as training them.
A large part of team building is not just hiring new people, but also training them constantly. You must let your team know what your expectations from them are and how they can go about meeting those expectations in terms of numbers and deadlines. Their duties and responsibilities must be clearly defined.
The best performers are driven by motivation and challenges. It is the task of the sales manager to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each of the sales persons and find out what motivates each of them.