01/06/2016 | Sales management
A question we regularly hear from our clients is ‘where do you find great (or even good!) sales managers?’
For us, the real challenge lies with how you define good. With many sales managers being no more than strong sales people who have been promoted (a great opportunity to lose his/her sales figures whilst they remain forever unable to transfer the skills and knowledge to enable the team to make up the difference!), what skills and behaviours do you look for in genuine management material? Equally as important, what should you train someone to be competent in to fulfil the role successfully?
Many of these skills are of course universal such as coaching, delegation, judgement, commercial acumen but with sales management being key to the success of the majority of businesses I’d suggest, are there some additional areas you’d want to explore?
My suggestion is that an in-depth understanding of the relevant sales process(es) might be one (not that they have to be the best at delivering with it, simply that they must understand it better than anyone else). Or how about knowing what true KPIs for sales operations should be such as target call rates, target quote and order values, target conversion ratios? I highlight target because it’s much more than measuring what you’ve got and comparing it to last month or quarter. What does the activity need to be to deliver the current revenues and how will they need to change to deliver next year’s?
Of course, if you aren’t aware of these types of metrics, you can’t test for them, always assuming that you do test for skills at interview!
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