Is it time to hire a Sales Manager?
To hire or not hire a sales manager is the question we hear in nearly every Bering McKinley engagement because there will come a time in the growth of every organization when the owner and/or leadership will decide it is time to take the next steps to grow the bottom line revenue of its organization. But before you decide to hire that Sales Manager and post your job description, we want to share with you the attributes of successful Sales Managers we’ve observed over the past 20 years:
1. Owners Do Not Make Good Sales Manager
Addressing the elephant in the room, it’s very rare that an owner makes a good sales manager. Here’s why: if the owner’s objective is to grow the business, they should be focused on the overall direction of the company. They should not be mired in details of specific opportunities. An owner may also be tempted to push a deal too hard because money is tight. Having a sales manager to discuss frustrations and buffer the stress from the direct sales reps will allow the opportunity to work through its natural sales cycle and save the deal.
2. Your Sales Manager Should Not Be Your Top Performing Salesperson
Managing and selling require different skill sets and many owners have come to regret the day they hired their best salesperson to manage (because they are no longer selling!) The sales manager should be able to lead by example to show the team how to close deals, but their #1 priority is the ability to communicate and manage personalities.
3. Seasoned Sales Managers Will Be Able to Identify Individual Learning Traits and Styles…
and adopt a training style to help that sales member produce faster!
4. Effective Sales Managers Can Garner the Respect of the Team
And if you are wondering why that matters, salespeople will always go the extra mile for someone they respect.
5. Find a Sales Manager Who is Flexible in Different Management Styles
Building on the previous point, there are different ways to manage. We have seen owners in the role of sales managers, manage from a position of fear. But the best sales managers want to retain top talent. To do this, a salesperson needs boundaries, positive input, and guidelines to achieve their results. One style of management can restrict outcomes.
6. An Effective Sales Manager Has “Skin in The Game.”
You are hiring an outside resource to foster leadership beyond your reach. Consider giving your new manager the ability to manage the P&L. Ownership and skin in the game will extend your set of expertise and hold others accountable for achieving the bottom line.
7. An Effective Sales Manager Knows How to Celebrate Success
Good sales managers know how to track to a quota, celebrate successes and continue to challenge the salesperson to keep momentum.
Many MSP leaders try and wear the sales management hat. Some MSP leaders sell out of necessity, while others find it difficult to know when to hire a sales manager to help their business grown. On fact remains consistent: In order to grow, you will eventually have to hire someone to take over the sales team to free you up to manage the growth of the organization. Be prepared to relinquish responsibility. A sales manager needs autonomy to manage, and consistent, sustainable growth will only happen when you delegate.
What do you need to know before you hire your first sales manager and/or salesperson?
Download our Most Asked Sales Questions by Sales Consultant & Trainer Ben Altman. Get the real scoop on some of the most asked sales questions around hiring sales managers and sales team members.