Sales managers have a lot of different tasks on their plate, ranging from administrative to hiring to serving as a go-between for the sales team and upper management. But the core of the sales management job is, of course, managing a sales team. Becoming a great sales manager requires mastery of the following skills… but if you don’t have one or more of these skills, now’s the time to start developing them.
Coaching your salespeople is probably the most important part of your job. So mastering the skill of coaching and maintaining a regular coaching schedule is particularly important. It’s your best tool for figuring out what’s gone wrong with a salesperson and how to fix it. In most cases, coaching involves the same kinds of skills as selling; it works best if you guide the salesperson to uncovering the problem and the solution rather than simply telling him what it is.
Many new sales managers fall into the trap of becoming buddies with their salespeople, especially if they’ve been promoted up from that very team. However, in order to be an effective sales manager, you have to be an authority figure. On the other hand, you can’t go too far in the other direction or you’ll become a tyrant – and your salespeople won’t be inclined to listen to you, much less trust you. Learning to walk the line between those two extremes is a crucial management skill in any department, but it’s particularly important for a sales manager because salespeople are notoriously hard to manage. ….