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How to Be a Good Sales Manager

Anyone can manage, but few can manage well. Learn what 10 sales manager skills you need to differentiate your leadership from the rest. 

What Makes a Good Sales Manager?

Learning how to be a good sales manager isn’t a science. With some experience, good habits, and appropriate skills, you can manage any team. There are ten skills, however, that set apart a manager from a good manager.

Sales Manager Skills and Qualities

These are the ten skills and qualities you will need to manage your team successfully:

#1: Hire the Best People for the Job

Intuition plays a big role in hiring your sales team, BUT, so does research, referrals, and past work experience. If you can find employees who have integrity, a good work ethic, and sales experience, that’s ideal. However, not having sales experience shouldn’t scare you. Some of the best employees are the ones that simply have good character and a willingness to learn. 

#2: Know What Motivates the Sales Reps

This is a great opportunity for you to sit down with your sales team and ask them what motivates them. That’s right, you don’t have to try to assume what incentives they might like, you can open an honest discussion with them to see how you can help them and how you can motivate them. After all, they know best what incentives they will work to achieve, whether that be money, recognition, extra vacation days or even a friendly competition within your sales team. 

By starting this conversation you are already on the right track to building relationships, trust and authority. You are also creating an environment where discussion and feedback are welcomed. 

#3: Always Give Feedback

Again, communication is so important. Your sales team will need to hear both constructive feedback and appreciative feedback to give the sales team clear expectations. Keep in mind that every piece of feedback given, must be uplifting and encouraging. Even when you give feedback that can be seen as negative, it should be delivered in a way that motivates the sales agent to do better. Also, always point out when an agent does something right. The best way to manage a team in any business setting is to recognize and encourage behaviors and actions that you desire out of the team.

#4: Know the Right Tools

There are five tools that you must have as a sales manager. They are not only a necessity but they are a luxury that advances security, marketing, analytics, sales, and productivity. I will give you the shortened version here, but for more detailed information about these tools check out our blog, 5 Must-Have Sales Managers Tools.

Here are the 5 tools you should have: 

  1. CRM Software
    1. Tracks contact information 
    2. Tracks communication with contacts
    3. Groups contacts by alike qualities 
  2. Sales Prospecting Software 
    1. Build Prospect List
    2. Automate Repetitive Daily Tasks 
    3. Qualify Prospects 
    4. Find Contact Details
  3. Cloud Calling Software
    1. Built-in CRM
    2. Create Calling Campaigns 
    3. Power Dialing
    4. Personalized Voicemail Drops 
  4. Sales Analytics Software 
    1. Real-Time Reports 
    2. Sales Forecasting 
    3. Predictive Platform 
    4. Coaching 
  5. Marketing Automation Software 
    1. Automation or emails, social media, texts, and/ or digital ads
    2. Advanced email marketing capabilities like segmentation, spam filter testing, performance reporting, and A/B testing 
    3. Lead managing by nurturing leads
    4. Reporting campaign lifecycles, as well as the campaign ROI

The Power Dialer is a good option, if you would rather have one software that can do many of those rather than multiple! 

#5: Monitor the Right Metrics

Don’t go overboard with the metrics! You can only measure so much until the data is mismanaged and chaotic. Keep it simple and measure a manageable amount so you can analyze the data and make decisions based on it. 

Here are the 9 Metrics we consider using: 

  1. Calls until Conversion
  2. Calls per hour 
  3. Call outcome 
  4. Follow-up per lead
  5. Voicemail returns 
  6. Handle time
  7. Agent satisfaction 
  8.  Cost per call
  9. Number of metrics you are tracking 

For examples of each metric and why they are important to implement into your business read more in our blog, 9 Sale Calling Metrics Managers Should Track

#6: Cultivate a Culture & Build Relationships

You are the manager, therefore you determine the culture. What is your goal? Do you want a relaxed environment? Do you want a productive environment? 

As the manager, you set the standard for the office culture. Use your actions and words to create the culture you desire. 

#7: Define a Working Process

Create a process that works efficiently and effectively for you and your team. There needs to be a set process for qualifying leads, communicating with leads, and sending leads through the pipeline. Of course, you will want some wiggle room for special situations but a structured process makes operations run much smoother. 

As a new manager you might still be learning what process would work best for your team. We have a great resource to help you determine the best choice for you and your team. Check out our article How to Improve Calls, Leads, and Deals + Examples

#8: Provide Trainings

Through your observation you will be able to determine what your team needs more training on. Training will need to be a continuous occurrence so your sales team doesn’t become stagnant in their ways of selling. 

#9: Set a High Bar

As the manager, you cannot enforce a high bar when you yourself don’t maintain or go above that bar daily. While you will have processes and goals in place to set the bar, it will mean nothing unless you uphold your own bar. Furthermore, that bar should always be moving higher as you improve and as the industry changes. 

#10: Never Stop Learning

As said before, the industry your company is in will continue to change. It is your job to keep informed and up-to-date on all the latest changes and challenges. Learn more about your competitors, learn more about the consumers, and learn more about anything and everything related to your field. Knowledge is key to your success! 

As we just mentioned, learning is key. So why don’t you read more about how to build useful sales call reports next?

Works Cited

 Rogers, W., 2021. The 16 Do’s of Highly Effective Sales Managers. [online] Salesforce.com. Available at: <https://www.salesforce.com/resources/articles/effective-sales-managers/> [Accessed 29 January 2021].

Wik, T., 2021. 8 Habits of a Great Sales Manager. [online] Linkedin.com. Available at: <https://www.linkedin.com/business/sales/blog/management/8-habits-of-a-great-sales-manager> [Accessed 29 January 2021].  

Montgomery, J., 2021. Sales Strategy: How to Improve Calls, Leads, and Deals | EVS7. [online] EVS7. Available at: <https://www.evs7.com/sales/sales-strategy-how-to-improve-calls-leads-and-deals-examples> [Accessed 1 February 2021].  

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