Sales Management Practices

Companies are becoming increasingly aware of needing to boost their sales in order to emerge ready for battle after the economic downfall. But taking on the management role of the sale force is a tall order and requires special touches and technique. Sales people in particular need specialist support. Why? Because great sales people are optimistic, very good persuaders, visionaries of the bigger picture and very team orientated. But they feel rejection acutely and being on the outside they can feel isolated.

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The best salespeople are also big into problem solving and driving to deliver the best results, their attitude is positive, powerful and authoritative. These traits and qualities make them so good at sales can also cause issues and problems for management as they can come across as impulsive, unrealistic in their expectations, disorganised and lack attention to detail.

Depending on what type of person is overseeing the sales function it can be very stressful. For instance if that person is methodical, analytical or process orientated they will may get easily frustrated in the day to day running of the department. The two personality types will clash unless both sides can learn to appreciate what each side brings to the table.

Here are my 4 top tips when managing sales people:

1. No Rules – Salespeople absolutely love freedom and don’t generally like abiding by rules, compliance does not work for these people at all! The better you are able to remove obstacles for them to sell, the better the results they will get and the faster the targets will be reached. Telling them what to do will only spark their creativity on overcoming rules and that is where there focus will be!

2. Coach Them Not “Manage” Them – Becoming a coach means asking them and not telling them what to do, this is very important as this also coincides with rule making. Let them own the solution to whatever obstacle it is, for example when you have an issue ask them to put themselves in your shoes and let them come up with their own solution to the problem. They will need support in implementing their solution and staying on the task, but even the way that is managed can be negotiated

3. Cut the Admin – If you find you have some salespeople who are amazing at selling but not so much on drafting reports, then let them sell and figure out a way of capturing the details. Get them some admin help on that area and let them so what they do best!

4. Reward Their Efforts – For many salespeople I have found that money is not the driving force behind their sales, it is the respect they gain from reaching targets, it is achieving those results that makes them sell really hard, so recognising them and giving them that “pat on the back” will work very well in their favour and will increase their productivity.

These are my 4 tips to enhancing sales force productivity. If you are managing a team of your own then try following them and see what results it produces, I can guarantee an increase in sales.

Author: Sophie works in the HR department and has done for a little over 10 years, she has also helped out in the workforce management industry where she got some experience in sales management, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and Sophie will get back to you. Or email her here