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by Anneli Thomson, Managing Director, Sandler Training

Sandler TrainingPart of your responsibility as sales manager is to help your sales team increase their capacity to perform and improve the outcomes of their performance. In other words, help them become more effective salespeople. To that end, you conduct regular sales meetings to hold them accountable, you provide coaching to keep them on track, and you provide training when needed.

What do you do to improve the outcomes of your performance when you’re conducting those sales meetings, providing the coaching, and delivering the training? In other words, what do you do to become a more effective sales manager? Most sales managers would answer, “Not much.”

So, what can you do to improve your performance and be a better manager, mentor, and motivator?

Here are three suggestions:

1. How you approach your work not only reveals how you feel about your job, but it also establishes a baseline outlook from which your salespeople develop their attitudes about work and, ultimately, their work ethic. Are you enthusiastic, or do you view your work as an imposition? When facing challenges, do you look for, and find, possibilities or do you only point out limitations to overcome? It’s difficult for your people to perform at their best and go the extra distance when they perceive that your only goal is to get through another day.

2. You and each of your sales team members have a unique personality—a unique preference for interacting with others, looking at things, analysing data, and making decisions. Each team member has different strengths he or she brings to the job. You need to recognise—and appreciate—those differences, and adjust your patterns of interaction so those differences become building blocks to communications, cooperation, and productivity…rather than roadblocks.

3. Your primary function as manager is to guide your people to perform at their best; not be a “know-it-all” who tells them what to do, when and how to do it. Let your salespeople know that you don’t have all the answers (even if you think you do). Include them in the process when you’re setting goals, developing strategies, and addressing challenges. Encourage them to offer ideas and input. Their participation gives them greater ownership in the processes and eventual outcomes, and provides additional motivation to perform.

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