By their nature salespeople are often independent, impulsive and confident. The main job of a salesperson is to convince customers to buy product or service and have control on their customers’ purchasing behaviour. Salespeople can be especially difficult to manage in a company. Difficult but not impossible. Effective sales team management requires a slightly different approach than managing other departments in your company.
Sales techniques and are designed to persuade prospects to buy. Most sales professionals will recognise the best tactic to use when they’re in direct contact with their customers. They will see through any attempt to mislead them. Your best approach in sales management is therefore be straightforward and honest with your sales team.
If you are considering a policy change or a new campaign gather your team and ask them for their opinion. Always take their feedback very seriously. The best way to do this is by using the suggestions of your team and explaining exactly why it is important to use their ideas. Demonstrate respect to your sales team and they will respect you back.
When you make a change that will affect the sales team, whether dealing with a new compensation structure or a new way to order, explain why you are making the changes and why you think this new approach will work better. You can avoid a lot of resentment showing your team the advantage by doing things the new way.
Sales managers are often in a position within middle management, with salespeople reporting to them and other executives above them. Senior managers are often those who pass the policy changes to the sales managers and expect the report of performance of their sales team. It is important to play as a team regardless the hierarchy of positions.
Considering that there are a limited number of hours in the day, many sales managers focus their efforts on coaching the best and worst salespeople of their team, leaving others on their own. Unfortunately this approach does not exactly send a positive message to the team members who are not taken into account. Take time to meet with each team member no matter what is their performance.
Salespeople tend to have two motivations: money and recognition. You may be limited to the amount of money that you can offer to your employees, but there is no limit to the recognition that you can deliver to them. If a salesperson performs well congratulate him both privately and publicly, in front of your team. When a salesperson’s performance improves substantially, even if it is not as good as the rest of the team, let him know you’re aware of achieved improvement. Some positive feedback can do wonders for team’s morale and make them perform at an even higher level.
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