Obstacles You May Face as a Sales Manager
There is no question that a sales manager position can be a challenging job with many obstacles to navigate, but it can also be an extremely rewarding career. The sales manager is essential to driving revenue and keeping the communication flowing between the executive team and the sales team. If you are considering this career path or promotion opportunity, we have a few areas to consider.
The key role of a successful manager is to inspire, encourage, and coach a team; which is strikingly different to a position where you are trying to meet a sales quota or seal the next deal.
Many times a successful sales representative is honored with a promotion into management. This transition is an exciting one, but can provide challenging issues too. The most common pitfall for new sales managers is the lack of proper training. When there is little preparation into this new role, it can be tricky to change your mindset from that of a salesperson to a sales manager.
The first area to consider is training. As we said, being a manager requires a very different set of skills, than being a salesperson. When transitioning from sales to managing, there may be skills that you need to strengthen.
Where can you get training?
- Take advantage of any training your company offers
- Search for online training courses
- Read books on leadership and management
- Hire a sales management coach
- Talk with other successful sales managers about their experience.
Regardless of whether you are transitioning from a sales role, or beginning a management position from an alternative background, training can be something you will benefit from.
Consistently scheduling time with each sales rep will keep lines of communication open. Have an agenda of items to go over to be sure your time is spent wisely. You could also provide your team with a certain time and day of the week where anyone who needs some additional time with you can stop in. During that time, the person in your office takes priority over phone calls and meetings. It’s important for team morale that your team feel they have adequate access to you and your experience.
In addition, hosting positive sales meetings with recognition and incentives can help be the catalyst that drives your team to success. Tip: Be sure to find out what motivates your team – it’s not always financial rewards. As you will read in a lot of leadership books, some people will be motivated by a pat on the back from their manager, some people may enjoy public recognition and yet others thrive purely on numbers and bonuses.
It is not unusual for company sales goals to become unreasonable, which can be frustrating for the sales person and the sales team. If a sales representative feels the expectations are unachievable, they may be inclined to leave or at least quit trying to reach their goal.
If you are not personally setting their quotas, be sure you are their voice to those individuals who are. It is necessary for you and your team to work together with a mutual respect for each other’s positions.
Training how to reinforce your team, communicating with your sales staff and helping them achieve realistic goals will, in turn, help you successfully transition into a leadership role.