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Sales Manager

Jose Vanegas asked:

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If you want to make sure that you’re the best sales manager you can possibly be, why not check out these helpful sales manager hints below? By employing some of these sales manager tactics, you’ll soon be able to motivate and direct your team better than ever before.

Sales Manager Strategy #1: Learn as much as you can

To become the best sales manager you can, you really need to stay up to date on sales topics and trends. This means you must read books and articles on the topic of sales, even when you’re not on the job as a sales manager. Keeping yourself informed should always be in the back of your mind, so the next time a brochure for a sales manager training comes across your desk, don’t put it in the “circular file.” Instead, look it over. You just might benefit from attending this kind of sales manager seminar.

Sales Manager Strategy #2: Get a sales manager mentor

One of the greatest ways you can improve as a sales manager is to learn from someone who is already a successful sales manager. If you don’t currently know someone who fits this bill, ask around at your local Chamber of Commerce. They might be able to hook you up with a professional sales manager who can assist you in becoming a terrific sales manager. And who knows? You may just become such a sought-after sales manager that someone asks you to mentor them!

Sales Manager Strategy #3: Give your employees the tools for success

It’s tough for sales staff to perform at their highest levels if they haven’t been given the tools necessary to succeed. One of the best items you can offer your employees as their sales manager is a sales management software program. There are some terrific ones on the market, such as Prophet, a program that works with your current MS Outlook system. (You can find out more about Prophet at Avidian.com.) By enabling your colleagues to become lucrative sellers of your products or services, you’ll be doing them a huge service as their sales manager.

Sales Manager Strategy #4: Provide consistent, measurable feedback

It can be very tough to offer feedback as a sales manager, because you’ll sometimes be seen as the sales manager “bad guy” (or gal). However, every sales manager must be willing to sit down with his or her employees to provide ideas and suggestions. If you’ve been avoiding this task, it’s time to start. After you institute regular feedback sessions, they’ll become much easier for you. Just remember to focus these sales manager/sales staff pow-wows on measurable data and leave emotions at the door for maximum benefit.

Sales Manager Strategy #5: Be a hands-on sales manager

Don’t sequester yourself in your office. Instead, be out and about. Show your sales team that you’re not just the sales manager; you’re also a sales person just like they. If you’re afraid to make cold calls, don’t let them know it; go ahead and fight past any of your personal fears. If you do this, you’ll be showing everyone that you’re willing to jump in the fray, and they’ll respect you more as their sales manager and leader.

Sales Manager Strategy #6: Reward your employees

When was the last time you rewarded your top-notch sales members? Was it today? Was it last week? Or would you have to look through your Palm Pilot to estimate when you last gave your team some “kudos”? As a sales manager, you should be giving your employees constant positive feedback in the form of rewards. And you don’t have to break the bank to do this, either. Offer top performers the option of coming in an hour late or leaving an hour early; pay for a team luncheon of pizza and soda when your department scores a huge account; or offer small trinkets as tokens of your appreciation as their proud sales manager. Just make sure that they realize their sales manager is watching and he or she appreciates what they do.

Sales Manager Strategy #7: Try not to keep sales manager secrets from your staff

As a sales manager, you’ll probably learn some things (maybe from your sales manager) that your staff doesn’t need to know. In fact, your bosses may tell you specifically not to pass information down to your team. However, it’s important as a sales manager that you understand when to let your colleagues know that there’s something afoot. Again, this can be a very tricky spot to be in… but that’s why you were given the sales manager position! You’re up for it; just be cautious and maintain confidentiality where required.

Sales Manager Strategy #8: Don’t blame your team for negative outcomes

If your sales were down last month, you probably wanted to blame your lackluster sales staff for the low figures. However, as a good sales manager, you have to realize that the buck actually stops with you. This means that if your team didn’t perform well, you have to take responsibility for any failure on their part. Is this difficult for a sales manager to accept? Absolutely. But if you stop blaming others, you’ll be in a much more powerful position because you’ll begin to take action when you see things starting to head south.

Sales Manager Strategy #9: Learn from your team

A great sales manager is a coach who listens to his or her players. When was the last time you asked for one of your employees’ advice? Chances are, if you’re like most sales managers, you’ve simply made decisions on your own. Instead of continuing on this dictatorial path, allow your people to help in some of the managing of your department. Give them a voice, and you’ll actually be strengthening your position as a sales manager.

Sales Manager Strategy #10: Have an open-door policy

If you want to be known as the “best” sales manager your employees ever had, you’ll need to implement an “open door” sales manager policy. This means that your staff can come to you with questions or concerns any time. Formerly, a sales manager was not encouraged to have such open dialogue with team members, but times have changed. If you want to be known as a 21st century sales manager and leader, you need to start welcoming your colleagues, even if you’re busy. That’s what separates a so-so sales manager from a phenomenal sales manager.

About Avidian Technologies:

Avidian Technologies is a software company specializing in creating software solutions for users of Outlook and Exchange. Prophet, developed by Avidian Technologies on the .NET platform, is the leading contact management and sales CRM software built in Outlook. The company is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. For more information, please visit http://www.avidian.com or call 1-800-860-5534.

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