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About This Episode
A sales manager walks up on a sales rep and catches them napping.
“Hey!” the manager shouted. “Why aren’t you working?”
“Because I didn’t see you coming.”
It’s an awful joke, but a fine example of what you could wind up with as a sales manager if you aren’t growing into your role properly.
What kind of leader do you want to be?
What kind of team do you want to build?
Lead by example. Get your hands dirty. Keep your team sharp, inspire them to be better, and do it all from the front.
Here are 7 ways to get into the trenches with your team:
- Go old school and bang out some calls with them
- Craft a killer email, share it and tell them why it works.
- Take an afternoon and do some role playing.
- Talk social media strategies.
- Run through a call and overcome objections
- Get past a gatekeeper
- Show them your moves!!!
As a Sales Manager, you are the highest version of truth for your team. You are the guru. If they have never seen your sales swagger, and don’t know if you’re capable of doing the role you are asking them to do, you will not get everything out of them that you want.
It adds to your credibility, and makes the training process more engaging for them.
Common Sales Manager pitfalls
Transitioning from salesperson to sales manager can be tough. All of a sudden you go from hunting whales with a killer instinct, to reviewing endless spreadsheets and writing reports. You are trying to lead and grow into your role all at the same time.
You’re pulled in so many different directions that sometimes you forget why you are really there.
One of the main things to be on the lookout for is becoming stale! You got to where you are most likely because of your stellar sales skills. Don’t lose sight of the sales aspect of your job.
Never stop learning. Stay on top of what the buyer’s landscape looks like. Understand what is happening in the world that may influence the strategy behind your sale, and make sure what you are teaching and modeling are always in tune with current trends and best practices.
Nobody wants to hear about the killer deal you brought in 10 years ago.
Always be plugged in to the climate and landscapes that influence your buyers. John C. Maxwell, Sales Guru and Life Coach says:
“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.”
Make your team want to buy in to you!
ABR -Always Be Recruiting
As you go through the year, your team is evolving. People are getting promoted up, moving into closing roles or inside sales roles. Don’t get caught short. Mark talks about always being on the lookout for hungry potential hires, including engaging with wait staff and other people in his day to day world. His philosophy is that everyone is coachable, and he’ll invest in attitude over aptitude any day. Here are some traits that he looks for on the ground and in the interview process:
- Does this person have drive?
- Are they intrinsically motivated?
- Do they have a level of commitment to anything?
- What motivates this person
- When they fail, how do they bounce back?
- What are some of their goals and how are they working towards them
Training- Sales is Not Management
“Most leaders were promoted from the individual contributor role, and in most cases, they were a badass at that role.”
Being a rockstar sales rep is probably what got you promoted to the next level. You find yourself in an entirely different role, which is a big adjustment. Knowing how to sell is very different from knowing how to teach someone else to sell. If you were a rock star sales rep, you may hit a few bumps as you grow into the role.
Understand that they aren’t you
Management is a skill. Sales is an art. Understanding that your team may be green, or not all stellar sales gurus is important. Patience is key.
Build a platform for success.
If you begin instilling culture as onboarding begins, and hit the ground running with your training process, your team will have a solid foundation right from the start. That initial training period will shape your team, and the individuals you chose are being molded by you. The habits, level of commitment, and overall approach will be developed in those first few weeks. Make them count, so you don’t have reps down the line that struggle. That’s not fair to them, and it’s not productive for you.
Don’t forget where you came from!
While technique and nuance is an integral part of shaping reps and teams, don’t forget to teach them some of the things that you perhaps take for granted at your level. Don’t skip things like:
- Bare minimum product knowledge. It never hurts to 101 the product or service.
- Giving a tour of your industry-help them become industry savvy
- Letting them know who your competitors are
- Share insights you’ve learned about your customer pool
- Share examples of big wins, as well as some failures.
Sales Managers are rock stars in their own right, they just have to take some time at the beginning of their leadership journey to learn how to transition from a hungry and aggressive adrenaline junkie, to a calm and knowledgeable mentor.