Thursday, 26 April 2012

A University Degree for Sales Managers?

I often ask of the sales managers I meet what 'Sales Management course' they completed at university.

The answer is always "What?" or "Ummmmmmmm, the boss taught me. He was a gun!"

It's a loaded question of course, and a little bit mischievous I admit, however it raises a great point or two.

Sales Orientation
So many sales managers progress from high performing sales into sales management which in many cases, produce poor results. It's not because they are inept, the orientation is all wrong. You have to be independent and focused to be in sales, just ask a sales man!

In sales management you have to be 'them and us' focused. It's no longer about you but about the collaborative result, the team effectiveness and your ability to coach.

The Foundations of Sales Leadership
In the absence of a proper science the sales scientists at Banjar have agreed on 7 core principles sales managers must get right!
  • Recruiting – Recruit the right attitudes, behaviors and then skills for selling
  • Sales strategy – Build a simple sales strategy
  • Coaching and mentoring – Be prepared to jump in the car monthly to coach
  • Strategic direction – Continuously develop the sales direction in front of the team
  • Negotiation – Negotiate with the team to make sure they get it
  • Managing – Manage the teams effectiveness, reports and performance
  • Leadership – Your role as a sales manager does not automatically make you a leader, it simply makes you the boss. Leadership differs in that it's not about bossing people around it's behaving in a way that makes sales people follow you no matter what.
We'd love to know if you are practicing some, many or none of these principles and what success or downfalls you've encountered. Which ones work the best to bring about change and which are the hardest to manage?


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