5 Secrets of a Great Sales Manager
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Let’s face it, in today’s fast-paced world you are managing a lot of projects. The one that impacts your employment the most is exceeding your revenue expectations. Retaining current clients and growing new revenue each day are the priorities. So, what’s the secret to be a great sales manager? Over my 31-year career, I have discovered from the managers that coached me and from my own experiences, it comes down to the five strategies below.
1. Identify talent. The phrase, “You are only as good as your team,” says it all. You can have the best ratings in the market, but without a talented team, you will find it challenging to convert your ratings into revenue and drive new direct business in the audio space. On the other hand, if your team has talent you will find it easier to get to your revenue goals, regardless of your rating position. You need to assess how many sellers you need on your team. In today’s world of non-compete contracts, you will likely have to look outside the media landscape. Identify companies that have great sales training programs like Verizon, Apple, IBM, car rental companies or major manufacturers like Cintas, and educate them about the benefits of our industry.
2. Coach and develop talent. It is time to review your current team. You need to assess each team member’s ability to do what is needed for achieving all revenue expectations. This is where you need to be honest with yourself. As sales managers, we see potential in everyone, but do they have the talent to exceed what is required of them? We also realize our role is to develop each seller, but they must first have the capacity to learn from our coaching. We need discipline, competition, relationship building and problem-solving skills on our team. Review your current team, identify who has the innate talents, and determine what your needs are for recruitment. It’s important that you are prepared to hire when your needs arise.
3. Inspire and engage your team. Great managers realize they play a larger role in their sales team’s lives. You often play the role of psychologist, parent and influencer. Typically, salespeople are driven emotionally. I ask each of my sellers what drives them. Money tends to be the number one answer. However, the underlying answer is what the money provides them. Great managers understand that they serve two types of customers: first, their sellers and second, the clients. Get to know your team’s needs and what inspires them!
4. Know your numbers. In addition to our people skills, we must know the best strategy for achieving our revenue goals, which includes inventory management. If we oversell the station and client demand increases, we will impact our seller’s income and the ability to exceed revenue goals. I recommend looking at historical trends of demand, a sellout by month, daypart. Look six months out to see if you’re pacing ahead or behind last year’s actuals. You may need to create other options to make up for any shortfalls in revenue. You can brainstorm with your programming/promotions team on customizing ideas to take to the market, and delegate all non-revenue driven tasks to others. The most important thing you can do is make calls with your team or make a list of accounts you can target to convert. I have discovered that in meeting with current clients, there is always an opportunity to help them.
5. Set the tone. We set the tone for the entire sales organization by our actions. It’s imperative to be there for your team. We need to coach in the field alongside our sellers. We need to continue to invest in ourselves and expand our minds to know that everything is possible. Be a resource when they face a challenging day and celebrate their successes along the way. Discover what each seller needs to be successful and coach them along the way. It takes a tremendous amount of physical and mental energy to be there for your team.
I encourage you to use the strategies above to assist you in becoming the best sales manager you can be!
For more ways to engage and inspire your team visit www.threewordmeetings.com