Management techniques for sales – Make good sales with management

Good management of sales staff can make for improved sales and a happier workforce. But poor management of sales can mean reduced revenue and an unpleasant working environment. Accountability, compensation, engagement, motivation, and tackling problems early are the keys to keeping a sales operation humming along. Reporting, setting goals, recognizing superior results, and being careful about hiring are also important aspects of sales management.

Good salespeople are glad to be accountable as to how they spend their time and who they are in contact with. A lack of accountability can result in slacking off and slower sales. Many successful sales managers hold weekly meetings to exchange...

information and discuss the previous week’s activities. Managers who are on top of what is going on with salespeople can see quickly how accountable sales staff are and how to tackle problems before they get out of hand.

Salespeople should be compensated well when they sell well. Your base compensation system should be reasonable, and any commission and bonus system should be easy to understand and not so vague that it is open to interpretation. Salespeople have a hard time being motivated when they work within a compensation system that they don’t understand or that they feel is interpreted arbitrarily.

A good sales manager knows that a salesperson who is always in the office isn’t making sales, even if they’re busy on the phone. Encouraging salespeople to be in the field when possible, and on the phone making appointments when they can’t be in the field helps ensure that they keep their sales numbers up.

Motivation of salespeople is mostly a matter of having a sales division that is managed in a way that makes salespeople want to succeed. Micromanaging is generally damaging in a sales organization. The minimum of rules and procedures will allow sales staff to have some latitude in how they achieve success. Overburdening staff with rules and procedures can seriously slow down sales.

Motivating a salesperson who is struggling isn’t always easy, but showing that you support them and have confidence gets better results than berating them. It is not easy work, and when problems develop, the successful sales manager addresses it before it has a chance to get worse. Negative attitudes, however, usually hurt more than they help. A positive work environment and a positive attitude are much more productive for motivating employees.

Requiring a certain amount of reporting, without burying salespeople under mountains of paperwork is necessary in order to keep track of accountability and measure the results the salespeople are getting. In many workplaces, weekly and monthly reporting are adequate for providing good records without overburdening salespeople with paperwork requirements.

As a sales manager, your goals should be based upon reasonable expectations. Quotas should be based on what a reasonable week’s or month’s effort comprises. When salespeople exceed expectation, they should be encouraged and rewarded for it. In fact, by giving praise for good work, you as a manager make yourself more effective at times when criticism is necessary.

Being a good sales manager requires solid “people skills” as well as a willingness to hold salespeople accountable and reward them when they achieve success and reach goals.

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