The Importance of a Great Manager in Sales

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A recent poll on LinkedIn revealed that over half of its respondents considered the people they worked with and especially their boss the key factor behind a “dream” job. This remains true in Sales, so here are some of the best ways Sales Managers can serve their team’s dreams.

Prioritise the Person

It’s a bit of a cliché that ‘a happy worker is a productive worker,’ but it’s true that any person will do their best when they are at their best.

Too many managers look at their team one-dimensionally, thinking that the more time they spend working, the more work they’ll do. Unfortunately, people aren’t that simple. If a person is overworked, or struggling with something at or outside of work, they won’t perform as well.

A good manager will recognise that their team is made up of full, three-dimensional people. They’ll appreciate that when each aspect of a team member’s life is working together harmoniously, that’s when they’ll be most productive. They’ll therefore take an interest in checking in with their team as people, not just employees. Paradoxically, this might mean that reducing the amount of time they work might result in better work being done!

Learn, then Teach

In the Sales industry, things are constantly changing. Methodologies shift, technologies emerge and attitudes falter and flip like a fish on the deck of a dinghy.

Salespeople need to stay on top of these developments, and managers doubly so. Once a manager becomes aware of something new, it’s up to them to familiarise their team with it so that everyone’s working with the latest information.

Flexibility to Change

Sales is an industry in which you’ll often find obstinance and arrogance. However, the best salespeople and, by extension, sales managers, do not take their own word as gospel, and rarely make assumptions.

A manager’s willingness to try someone else’s ideas can be the most valuable tool in their arsenal. It takes a certain amount of trust to accept that someone might know something that you don’t, and the trust shown here can often extend into other aspects of the job. It also lets the team feel they and their voices are valued.

This is not to mention the inherent risk in sticking with old, rigid methods that over time become outdated and eventually obsolete.

Optimism for the Future, not Pessimism from the Past

The attitude of a leader has a vital impact on the  morale of the team. If a manager spends their time fretting over past performance, fixating on mistakes and refusing to see their team members as anything other than the work they’ve already done, the working environment will become stagnant.

Instead, managers in sales should look to the future, searching for new opportunities, focusing on growth and believing in their team’s ability to perform better than they ever have before. If they adopt this mindset, it won’t be long before the team does, too.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the things that make a good sales manager a great sales manager are the things that will make their team members feel that they are more than just drones. If someone feels that they are valued not only for the job they do, but for who they are and the ideas and potential they bring to the table, they are far more likely to feel like they belong in that place of work.

If a manager can achieve that, everything else will flow like a dream.

Take it With You

No time to read now, or want to have it to refer to later? Download the PDF here!

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