Monday, July 9, 2012

Becoming a Rock Star Sales Manager


Sales management is the most important job in modular home sales, but how many sales managers actually manage sales? 

Where do most factory sales managers come from?  Most started out as salespeople and there is nothing wrong with that.  Most sales managers were star performers in sales and there is nothing wrong with that either.  However, there is something wrong in thinking that someone who has been a star salesperson will automatically become a star sales manager.  The two jobs are entirely different.

What is the role of the sales manager?  Sales management is responsible for creating sales performance through the actions of the sales team.  Sales management is about creating the supportive environment within which salespeople will flourish, give their best and improve sales for the factory.

Unfortunately, most sales managers continue to spend too much of their time selling to their own list of modular builders and do not devote enough time managing the performance of their staff.

How do sales managers spend their time?  If you ask sales managers how they spend their time, they will probably tell you they spend most of their time selling and the remainder is spent on internal meetings and doing administrative work.  Then ask them how much time they spend observing their sales people, coaching them in sales skills or discussing strategy for their sales person’s most important customers and watch them go quiet.  The truth is that they spend very little time on these activities which is what the sales team and the factory owners really need them to do.

Sales managers are pretty sharp at monitoring sales results.  They know who achieves their goals and who hasn’t.  What sales managers don’t know is the reasons for their salesperson’s achievements…good or bad.  They know the results but know the hows.


Steps to becoming a Rock Star sales manager:
  • Identify your best salespeople. Then spend some time with them, one on one, and learn what they do.  How do they engage with their builders, how do they create credibility and confidence with their builders and most importantly, how do they present what the factory offers?
  • Spend time with your average sales people.  Compare what they are doing with your star performers.  This simple comparison will help identify the key skills and techniques used by the best salespeople and use that information to begin working with the average sales rep to help them become stars.
  • Turn your average sales people into star performers.  This will not be easy but you must begin transferring those key skills found in the star performers to everyone on the sales team.  Even slight improvements within the sales team will continue to grow if you work at becoming a teacher and a sales manager.  This will not be possible in every case.  Sometimes a poor sales rep will stay a poor rep no matter what you do. 

Do these simple things and you will have a good start at becoming the best Rock Star sales manager your sales team has ever had.

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