The transition from a top-performing sales rep to a sales manager can be tough and challenging. Most sales people who get promoted are not well prepared to handle managerial tasks. They are not able to shed their sales person image, and continue to micromanage their team’s work, which results in a drastic reduction in overall productivity. And worst of all, they themselves burn out as well.
According to Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, “Strong sales skills do not always prepare a salesperson to manage others”.
When a top salesperson is not able to carry out his managerial duties properly, it’s a problem that can permeate many layers of the organization. Therefore, once a salesperson assumes the role of a manager, it’s crucial that he sheds his previous professional identity to perform better as a manager. As a manager, his focus must be on assigning duties to everyone in the team, and trusting them to skillfully handle the work on their own. By letting go this way, there is more time to focus on other managerial duties and contribute to the company in other ways.
New managers need to be trained and coached into the role by mentors, and be made to perform the managerial duties while still in the sales role. It includes:
One of the most important roles of a manager is to hire the best talent and nurture existing reps to perform better. Therefore, it is imperative for companies to provide training on how to recruit top talent. When hiring new talent, managers must be taught not to rely only on interviews to make the final call. Tasks such as role play or assigning a simple assignment can help managers understand how well the aspirants will sell. This way, the job seeker’s behavioral fit into the sales team can be adjudged.
Managers should also be trained to conduct performance assessments and, compensation allocation based on individual sales targets. Reports say that, “Good coaching and performance reviews actually have a bigger impact on performance, and this is a tangible skill that managers can be taught.”
Good managers are those that help their team members get better. Companies must train their managers to nurture existing talent to achieve their sales targets. This way every sincere worker gets recognition and feels motivated to do their best.
3. Analytical Acumen
With the Internet and eCommerce changing the way a business operates, a large amount of data is collected and stored at each level of the sales pipeline. Managers require business and analytical skillsets to analyze such data and use the insights to make appropriate business decisions. Additionally, a fair amount of knowledge on finance, budgeting, accounting, taxes, and new financial trends is required. Conducting workshops and seminars on data analysis and finance basics can help managers gain the necessary analytical, financial and accounting skills.
Aside from the fact that the company needs to ensure the managers are trained in the above key skill sets, managers must themselves be willing to take the plunge. As a new manager, there are more responsibilities entailing a lot of administrative tasks, which he must be ready to perform. And lastly, it is the company’s responsibility to clarify these expectations before promoting a salesperson to the managerial role.
To make the most of the new sales managers’ time and effort, and empower them to seek out new growth opportunities, companies can choose to partner with an external sales and marketing partner that can improve the overall sales and marketing efficiency. If you are looking to accelerate the sales efforts of your managers and sales reps, RAP can be the right partner. RAP is a full lifecycle sales and marketing company that provides services for revenue acceleration, improving sales efficiency, and maximizing returns. Our unique holistic methods to accelerate revenue can bring much-needed growth to your bottom line. If you’d like to explore working with us, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you.