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5 Keys to Being a Successful Sales Manager

Adam Johnson, Ytel |  
Leading a Sales team is no easy task; there are so many moving parts, people involved, products to sell, goals to hit... and that's just an easy day! This post shares the five key elements that I've found to being a truly successful sales manager day in and day out. Read on to discover how you can ramp up your team and find some motivation as we finish off summer and prepare for Q4!

Leading a Sales team is no easy task; there are so many moving parts, people involved, products to sell, goals to hit... and that's just an easy day! This post shares the five key elements that I've found to being a truly successful sales manager day in and day out.

1. Hiring

When hiring people to join your sales team, there are a few qualities that should always jump out at you as a sales manager. While you can always teach particular skills and sales techniques, personality traits aren't nearly as teachable. There are a few traits that are unique to sales that employees who work on your team will only benefit from having. These include:
  • Empathy (with prospects and customers, particularly)
  • Curiosity on how things work, how they simplify processes and make things better
  • Eagerness to learn and improve both the department and themselves
  • A cultural fit  within your company 
  • Has the drive and mentality to win 

2. Lead by doing

Simply put, if you want your team to improve, work on your personal improvements in front of them! If you want your team to take a certification course, take it first. Set the precedent that all expectations you have for them are things you've already accomplished, and you attribute them towards your success. Although adults, sales reps will look to their manager in nearly every situation to see how you handle it and follow your lead. Act the way you want your team to act! 

3. Leave your ego 

While you may believe there are certain ways to achieve your department goals, the way to run a meeting, the way to sell a product, etc... you should always be listening to your team's experiences and gathering feedback on what prospects are saying on their calls, demos, throughout the sales process, and onboarding so you can be consistently improving these processes. As the sales cycle changes, so do the leads, and so should your strategies. Leaving the 'right way' out of it and being open for improved change is the best way to see your department, and your role, flourish. 

4. Accountability


While it's an uncomfortable part of the job, it's still part of the job. Setting monthly goals for each salesperson, whether it may be deals closed or based solely on revenue, is a standard policy within Sales teams in every company. Hold monthly one-on-ones with each team member to review their monthly goals and see where they're at, how you can help them, what goals they've missed, and what needs to change.

Holding each sales rep accountable for his or her responsibilities is essential to continuing down the path of success. The conversations may be uncomfortable but ultimately, you will work together to find a resolution and everyone wins! Check out this post for some tips on motivating your reps to beat their sales quota each quarter!


5. Coaching


Never let coaching fall by the wayside. Your team counts on you for guidance, as a resource, and as their support system! Whether you're sitting with new hires while they go through demos, letting them listen on your sales calls, or doing role play practicing with them, coaching is essential to not only being a successful manager (you'll find your selling techniques improve as well!) but for building up your team's morale.

Have a process set for new hires to spend plenty of time getting coached by you or other seasoned sales reps so they're well prepared to field inbound and outbound calls. Encourage your reps to educate themselves outside the office as well, whether they're listening to sales podcasts or attending conferences.

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About The Author

Adam Johnson, Ytel

Adam is our Director of Sales and he hustles every day to build relationships with our valuable customers to ensure they're getting the experience and technology their businesses need in order to scale and grow.


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