Sales managers can make or break the sales team. The mistakes made by sales force can have effects on company’s bottom line, whereas mistakes made by sales managers will cause problems for their entire sales team.
There are many mistakes sales managers can make, here are some of the worst of them:
Using monthly meetings ineffectively
Your monthly meetings with sales team should be focused on strategies, not on useless recaps of performance numbers. Your sales team already knows; what their target was and where did they fail. Reminding again and again is not a good idea. Instead focus on the areas of improvement, goals and actual plan of attack.
Replacing non-performing sales team quickly
This is one of the easiest job for a manager to replace a non-performer. But hey! did you evaluated why he/she was an low performer? I am not saying replacement is an bad idea, but it is the last resort. You must know the facts, why he/she were low performers? You motivate them, listen to what they have to say, come up with a solution together. Even after this he/she remains the same, you have to replace with someone who can produce more and quickly achieve your higher-level objectives.
Giving unrealistic targets
There are lot of managers I know of, give unrealistic targets or accept unrealistic targets without questioning. This results in poor performance of the sales team and as a manager you will loose your value in management. You must know the team, the festivals and environment; based on this you should assign target or accept one.
Pushing sales team too hard
It is sales, and where there are sales involved hard pushing is required. The managers forgets one thing, pushing too hard can break them (demotivated) instead of making them. The manager should know when and where to push his team. There are always ups and downs in business. If targets are more realistic, a little push can achieve more than the given target.
Not running sales team by numbers
I know spreadsheets are boring and intimidating, but they will serve you as a map to get you where you want to go. You can’t fix a problem unless you’re aware or identified there is a problem to begin with. Understanding your team’s goals, current performance and daily activities is the key responsibility. You cannot paint all the colors with same brush. Area to area sales differ. You just can’t assign target that is given to Bangalore to other districts in Karnataka, it is not logical. If you are not planning then you are planning to fail.
Not setting the right example
There are lot of managers who believe they are king, their job is just to give orders. They sit in their office with closed door and start barking on sales team. This is a worst kind of example to set for your team, especially in an action-driven environment. The manager should be the hardest worker on the team, and everyone who works for them should try to mimic or at least respect their work ethics. It’s hard to ask someone to work hard when you yourself are not willing to do it yourself.