In my years as a sales management coach, I have encountered every type of sales manager. From the newbie manager who was promoted because he/she had the best sales record, to the MBA sales-trainer-turned-manager. Yes, I have seen them come and go. I have seen them wildly succeed and miserably fail. Through this pedigree of experience, I have learned how to spot the superstar managers.
Though there are several different personality types that can succeed in sales, the best sales leaders have many things in common. Most are genuine, highly ambitious and extremely driven. The way they manage is the real differentiator though.
Superstar sales managers all do the following:
1. Provide formal coaching. Great sales leaders regularly sit with each sales rep and provide personalized one-on-one coaching. They realize that the more they can develop their team’s talent, the better they will perform. Without coaching, a salesperson also loses motivation because they feel the lack of support. Formal coaching is the key to happy and productive salespeople, and great managers deliver it.
2. Create strategic plans. Great sales leaders help their people create annual strategic plans. The exercise gives salespeople a structured plan to follow throughout the year. And because they create the plan together, there is an understanding of what is expected of them and how their success will be measured.
3. Support the most important parts of the sale. Most salespeople want and need support from their manager during the sales process. Whether it is helping them put together the best possible proposal or closing a difficult client, great sales leaders support their people in those key points that mean the difference between a “yes” and a “no.”
What other behaviors do you think are indicators of star sales performers?
Howard Shore is a sales management coach and founder of Activate Group Inc, based in Miami, Florida. His firm works with companies to deliver transformational management and business coaching to executive leadership. To learn more about sales management coaching through AGI, please visit activategroupinc.com, contact Howard at (305) 722-7216 or email him.