Managing and Leading a Sales Force
There are certain characteristics that contribute to your success as a sales manager. There is a massive demand for sales leaders with these character traits and it is rare to find one person that possesses these all of these traits, and therefore those that are promoted into a sales management position often find themselves dropping out of their new leadership positions because they are unable to make the transition from salesperson to sales manager. When a salesperson is promoted into a management position, you often find that the qualities that make a good sales manager are significantly different from those that make a good salesperson, particularly in attitude toward the job and their sense of responsibility.
Many changes are required from a person that is promoted from salesperson to manager. Most new sales managers take up their post largely concerned with doing a good job by focusing on the tasks at hand and through planning their everyday activity. Often, they neglect to see the bigger picture and how their behaviour can impact on the goals and well-being of the entire organisation. The transformation from thinking and behaving like a salesperson to thinking and behaving like a manager is not something that happens overnight. There are several predictable phases that the new manager will pass through. It is good to know about these stages even if you are already a manager, as there may be team members that you promote, and you will need to help them through these stages in order to reach their potential as soon as possible. Whether you are in a top, middle, or first-line sales management position, you will be required to fulfil five basic functions. All of these are covered in detail in this module and include;
ONE, Planning – An organisations marketing department develops plans, strategies, and tactics that allow the company to reach its growth objectives. The sales team responds by developing their sales plans, strategies, and tactics that deliver on marketing’s growth targets.
TWO, Staffing – you will be directly involved in attracting, hiring, and retaining the right people in the sale team, locally, nationally and possibly even internationally.
THREE, Training – as the sales manager, you decide which training methods to use, who should be trained, where, and when they should be trained.
FOUR, Directing – here you are required to deal with people positively and persuasively from a leadership position. This includes motivating the team through proper compensation and incentivisation.
FIVE, Evaluating – where you need to be comparing actual performance to planned performance goals on a continuous basis in order to determine whether to take corrective action or not.
The right attitude can make all the difference in your transition into management.