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Some Useful tips for the New Sales Managers to thrive in their leadership roles

7 minutes read

So you just got promoted to a sales manager’s role at your company or landed a new sales manager’s job at a new company. Firstly, hearty congratulations on that.

Now you must be aware that a sales manager holds great responsibilities. Even the most seasoned and effective salespeople can struggle when they begin to lead a sales team. But there’s no need to feel intimidated. You have worked hard and earned this role. And now it’s time for you to go out there and kill it.

There are various forms and styles of good leadership and you’ll quickly discover which leadership style works best for you and your team.

Being the new leader of the sales team, you might have planned various things to maximize your sales team’s performance. But for this to happen, your sales reps must believe in you and take you as a leader who can help them accomplish the overall company’s mission and their personal goals as well.

As John Maxwell rightly said: “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.”

So, in order to help you become an effective leader right from the beginning in your new sales manager role, we have put together some key tips which will help you find your footing as a manager. Let’s dive in.

1. Conduct your hiring thoughtfully

What is the use of having the most strongest and refined leadership skills when the team that you lead is unmotivated and underqualified? If you really want to be a successful leader, you need to first make sure that the sales reps in your team are skilled and motivated to drive the best sales results.

And this starts with you being involved and thoughtful in the hiring process.

So, make sure that you invest your time in hiring your team and look out for people

  • Who are qualified sales reps
  • Who buys into your company’s vision and values
  • And who are motivated to contribute to the team dynamic and the overall sales success of the company

If you don’t get involved in your team’s hiring and take it seriously, then you are going to end with a team of reps who aren't motivated to give their best no matter what you do.

2. Understand your Team

You need to know your team closely in order to understand how they want to be managed and the leadership tactics that will resonate with them the most. So when you take over as the manager, make sure that you schedule one-on-one meetings with your team members regularly.

Form a good connection and rapport with each one of your team members and try to get a sense of how they learn and work. Let them get to know you as well.

However, make sure sure that you are not seen as someone who is unfamiliar or overly imposing by your team. Keep in mind that you want to manage your team, not command them.

This is important because you don't want your team members to be reluctant to approach you with issues or concerns that they may have. You don't have to get too friendly with them but you still need to be approachable. Acquainting yourself with your team helps you strike that balance.

3. Be involved but don’t micromanage

I know that I have said this in the previous point, but as this is very crucial, I’m trying to reiterate it. Always remember that you're managing your team, not commanding them. That means you have to be actively involved in their efforts without micromanaging. Having regular one-on-ones will be a big help here.

Provide the space and security that your team needs to speak up about the difficulties and struggles in their jobs. And when they communicate their problems, make sure that you provide guidance to solve that problem but don’t do their job for them. Ensure that you are not too distant and also you are not depriving your reps of growth opportunities by holding their hands for too long.

4. Set SMART Goals

Goal-setting is a crucial aspect of effective sales leadership.

Like most business objectives, your sales goals for your team need to be SMART — or specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. You need to make sure that you check these boxes if you want your team to successfully accomplish their objectives.

For example, if you are leading a team of SDRs, you give them a goal like, “Book more meetings.” Instead, give them something specific goals like, “We would like to improve our overall sales meeting acceptance rate by at least 5% over the next 8 months.”

5. Maintain clarity while assigning responsibilities

If you want your reps to fulfill their responsibilities, you need to first tell them what is expected of them. You need to clearly articulate

  • What are your team member’s responsibilities?
  • When do they need to fulfill them?
  • And what results will they see if they’re successful?

You need to have open and thorough communication with your team members about their responsibilities. Make sure that you connect with your reps often and give them specific instructions. This way, you will be able to set them on the right path, and immediately identify the lapses in understanding.

6. Clearly communicate about the compensation

Sales compensation is one of the most powerful motivators for the reps to perform. After all, it is the main reason why they are working in sales in the first place. So, if you want to get the most out of your sales team, make sure to communicate to them how they're being compensated with respect to

  • Base salary,
  • Commission,
  • And any other financial incentives you might be offering them

Make sure you have a clearly defined in place. And get your team familiarized with what they can expect to see if they meet or exceed quota.

Establishing this understanding will help in motivating your reps to strive to achieve their goals.

7. Establish a healthy competitive atmosphere

Sales is an inherently competitive field. So, naturally, sales competitions are something that sales teams enjoy thoroughly.

A sales competition encourages individual efforts as well as team collaboration. So, if you want your team to be as successful as possible, you can't ignore the element of competition.

But the thing about competitions is that they can go either way. There’s always a fine line between being productively competitive and being toxically confrontational. And when this line is crossed, it can take a massive toll on your sales team’s morale. So while you should encourage your reps to challenge one another in these sales competitions, you also need to ensure that they do not resent each other.

In order to maintain a friendly, competitive atmosphere, you should ensure that you,

  • Recognizing individual achievements as well as team achievements
  • Have creative leaderboards
  • And have creative initiatives and rewards to honor the participants at each step in the competition

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Published on Sat Jul 9 2022

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