Warning! This blog contains very cheesy music references and may result in songs getting stuck in your head. Read at your own risk!
Making the leap from a sales executive to managing a sales team doesn't sound like a huge change and most will think that because they’re a high performing sales executive, they will automatically be a successful sales manager.
However, what a lot of people do not realise is that being a sales leader is very different to being a sales performer.
During lockdown we had the pleasure of recording a webinar with Mark Terrell, Founder of The Reluctant Leader Academy, to discuss the five top things all salespeople need to know to become a successful manager with a very musical twist.
So, whether you're an individual top performing sales person looking to level up your career by becoming a manager or you’re looking to turn your high achieving star sales person into a minted manager, we’ve put together some tips that will enable a smooth transition.
Let’s start the sales jukebox…
Knowing me, knowing you!
The first thing any new sales manager needs to do to become a successful leader is understand themselves, including your behavioural style and what motivates you. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a better understanding of what motivates your team, how to identify their behavioral style and adapt to get the best out of them. Management is all about building your team to get the best results.
Do you know where you’re going to?
Set a vision. Set a personal vision, including understanding your career path and development, and set your team's vision, including the direction they’re going and what they want to achieve. Get this nailed down, communicate it with the team and they will come with you on your journey.
Tell them what they want, what they really, really want!
Who knew The Spice Girls were teaching us about sales leadership when this classic came out in 1996?!
It’s easy to think you’re on the same wavelength as your team mates but all too often the real goal can be vague and we can find ourselves frustrated that things didn’t go the way we’d envisioned. Make sure you set clear expectations, have concrete communication and tell your team what you really, really, want!
Do the right thing!
Lead by example and give your team the praise they deserve, people love receiving feedback. It’s easy to notice when your team has done something wrong, but what will get you noticed as a great leader is acknowledging when your team has done something right!
Cruel to be kind, but in the right measures!
As human beings we tend to be either overly supportive or overly challenging. If it’s being over supportive, your team is likely to be highly dependent and you’ll feel the need to check in on them regularly. The opposite is overly challenging where you’ve put your team in a highly stressful environment where they feel they can’t do anything right.
Finding the right balance of the two and being cruel to be kind in the right measures is key. This creates an environment where they’re able to develop their skills, push to get a better performance but also feel supported.
Ultimately, taking the time to get to know your team and working on your leadership skills will make a huge difference and will see you become the ultimate leader in no time.
Find out more about what it takes to become a successful sales manager and follow the link below to watch the full video.