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4 Steps To Manage A Sales Team More Effectively

Posted by Shekhar Bhusannavar on Aug 29, 2014 4:00:00 PM

After more than 25 years of sales management experience, let me share 4 steps I believe are essential.

Author: Mark Hunter "The Sales Hunter"

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First Step: Never assume you’re going to know what is going on during each sales call. 

Salespeople by nature will always be quick to tell you about the success and downplay the failures. As much as you may think you know of every lost opportunity, don’t kid yourself. You don’t. If you take the approach of trying to make each lost sale a learning opportunity, you’ll quickly find your sales team hiding information from you. Chose your teaching moments wisely, and never forget you’re dealing with a person’s mental state. It’s better to coach for the long-term improvement than the short-term sale.

Second Step: When making joint sales calls, don’t assume the lead role.

Allow the salesperson to maintain the lead role. Your job is to assist the salesperson long-term, and you do that best by assisting only where needed. When you do assist, never do so in such a way that undermines the salesperson. Keep in mind that it’s their account and their customer – not yours.

Third Step: When working with one salesperson, never say anything negative about another salesperson on your team.

Too many sales managers will talk about other salespeople when they are working with one of the team members.  If you do this, it will immediately cause the salesperson to wonder what you’re saying about them to the others on the team.  The only time it’s appropriate to talk about another salesperson is when you want to share something positive about them.

Fourth Step: Remember that you’re managing people, not products.

The performance of your sales team will always be impacted far more due to their mental state than you will ever know.  This does not mean you should coddle them, but it does mean you need to show interest in them and support them in their goals.

Never forget that no matter what the compensation plan is, you’re still leading a team and they will talk to each other. The more you can create an environment of success, the more success you will have. There is no way your team will be positive unless you’re positive.  If you sit there and bash management and other departments, they’ll pick up on your cue and do the same.

Leading a sales team is just that – leading. It’s not managing. If you want to manage, then you’re in the wrong job. If, however, you want to make a significant impact on people, then leading a sales team is rewarding. Few positions in a company have the privilege of interacting with as many people both inside the company and outside the company. Use your position wisely and at the end of each day, ask yourself these questions.

Author: Mark Hunter "The Sales Hunter"

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