Figuring out how to be a good sales manager can not only help those in management, it can also help all the staff that report up into the sales managers. Before we look at some principles to create improvements, let’s look at some of the common practices.
Common Sales Manager Practices
One of the most important roles that a sales manager plays is that of leader and educator. The reps that report to a sales manager will rely on that person to guide them and lead them toward success.
Unfortunately, one of the most common educational processes that a sales person goes through is that they may go through some initial or new hire training when the start working for a sales manager. In this sales training, it is common for the focus to primarily be on the company the rep works for and the products they will be selling.
This is pretty basic information and it is all important, but when you only train a sales person on the company and products, that is all they will go out and talk about in their sales messaging. When it comes to phone calls, emails, and face-to-face discussion, a sales person will primarily talk about their company and products.
The challenge with this and how this impacts how to be a good sales manager is that this is an “all about me” sales messaging approach. And when you are in early sales cycle stages, talking about yourself might not be the best way to grab a prospect’s attention.
An Alternative Approach
What if there is a different way to go and if that can help with how to be a good sales manager? If it might not be best to talk primarily about us and our products, what should we talk about?
The answer is that we should focus more on our prospect’s with our sales messaging, especially in our first conversations. We need to focus on the challenges that the prospect's are experiencing, their goals, the improvements they would like to see, etc.
The challenge with getting your sales people talking about those areas is that if you train them on the company and on the products, their natural responses will not be on the prospect. What you need to do to ensure that there is a shift to focusing more on the prospect is to train the sales person that they need to have that focus and what they need to be saying and asking to maintain that direction.
The Impact with Current Processes
This does not come naturally. Many sales managers believe that if they hire someone with a good personality and good experience, and they then train them on their products and company information, then give them a quota and territory, that they will then naturally put it all together and know what to say and ask.
This does not naturally happen and this is why it can be hard to figure out how to be a good sales manager. The end result can be sales resources that improvise when talking with prospects. That can lead to opportunities missed, lower sales performance, and higher sales staff turnover.