What makes a good sales manager is a question we hear all the time from CEO’s, Presidents and Owners. We have worked with hundreds of sales managers over the years and each one brings his or her own strengths and weaknesses. One variable that is oftened overlooked is whether the corporate culture allows the sales manager to do the job for which he or she is being held accountable.
Jonathan Farrington has a great quote that not only answers the question of what makes a good sales manager, but is also the foundation of the sales culture of any organization (emphasis mine):
The Sales Leader’s role is one of catalyst – constantly helping their team to keep up with events, to change in the light of events and to succeed. . .
If you not only hold your sales manager but your organization accountable to this statement, you will allow your sales manager to react proactively to the revenue goals of the company. This approach is far more aluable than forcing them to be a firefighter (constantly having to put out fires). The post goes on to give 7 objectives that a sales manager should be thinking about with their team to achieve superior performance. They are simple, direct objectives, but they provide a clear and concise picture of how your team is performing and where effort will need to be placed to achieve your goals. Here are the 7 objectives:
• Do you understand their motivators – what is driving them?
• Do you have visibility of their numbers – year to date, forecast vs. required performance?
• Activity levels – are they working hard and smart enough?
• Engagement – are they talking to the right level in their prospects/accounts?
• Messaging – are they capable of delivering an appropriate message at the right level?
• Qualification – are they only spending time on deals where they can compete and ultimately that they can win?
• Closing – are they constructing successful campaigns and closing business?