Your Roadmap to Sales Management Success takes you on an invigorating learning journey through the 10 essential roles where high performance sales managers excel. Author, Wayne Moloney has distilled three decades of his top-tier experience in sales, sales training, marketing and business development in this guide for new sales managers, small business owners responsible for the sales management function and sales managers who want to improve their skills.
Our modern world is distinctly customer-driven; and salespeople are challenged to find new ways to engage and retain far more knowledgeable, and increasingly flighty customers who have never been more spoilt for choice.
It’s up to the Sales Manager to lead their team as they grapple with changing roles, as well as different rules and modes of engagement; all the while ensuring that they also deliver the sales that drive business growth and profit.
In this first book of the Business Roadmap series, Wayne takes on the role of a trusted mentor guiding you to develop the planning and operational capabilities, as well as the coaching and leadership skills needed to properly support and manage a thriving sales team. You’ll discover what a Sales Manager needs to do to stay abreast of the rapid changes across all markets as technology improves, but will be reminded that the way we build trusted, long-term relationships doesn’t change.
With the confidence and passion of someone who has walked the road to successful sales management himself, Wayne enables you to:
· gain in-depth insights so that you fully understand the key roles of the sales manager
· reflect on and recognize the ways in which your own interpersonal abilities, styles and attitudes impact on others
· access the latest expertise offered by effective sales management training
· make use of valuable, practical business tools that ensure a well-managed sales process
· develop yourself as the successful leader of a high performance sales team.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have access to an excellent mentor when they need one. This book is designed to be the next best thing – a precise and motivational roadmap, full of relevant, tried and tested advice, insights and ideas, expertise and tools that you can use to put yourself on the road to successful sales management.
There’s no doubt that the so-called ‘communication age’ has served up some significant challenges for salespeople. Not least a clouding of the understanding of the distinction between marketing and sales. Any activity that leads to the generation of revenue falls into marketing and sales. However, in reality, sales and marketing still differ in that marketing is about reaching and persuading your prospective customers - getting people to the door; while sales is about persuading them to purchase, achieving the signed contract or agreement - getting them through the door. The combination of sales and marketing is what is needed to keep people in the room
Gaining customers is very challenging in today’s market where:
Retaining customers can also be very challenging in today’s market where:
As significant as these environmental factors are, it remains my view over three decades of business management, that the major challenge in sales is the lack of effective sales management. A good sales manager can help their team understand the most appropriate process of selling in today’s market. Even though buyers are more aware than ever of what they want to buy - and are often more prepared than the ill-equipped or ill-prepared salesperson - there are still certain steps in the sales process that remain the same – it is just the way they are achieved that may well need to change.
This guide has been developed to help sales managers and business owners who are responsible for the sales management role to:
At At the outset, effective sales managers need to think like managers who recognise the relationship between the growth and development of an organisation and the growth and development of the people that make up that organisation.
The overarching demand on the sales manager is that you need to interpret your company’s vision and strategic initiatives into the sales strategy that you and your team implement on a day-to-day basis. If that imperative seems to be somewhat lofty and obscure, don’t worry. This guide will help you bring it down to the fundamentals of good sales management.
As a sales manager, your role as leader offers you fantastic opportunities to develop your capacities to direct, coach, counsel, inspire and encourage others to deliver the expected results. The process of learning how to lead is a personal journey that demands high levels of honest self-reflection and accurate self-assessment. It will also challenge you to be flexible and adaptive, as you quickly learn that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to guiding members and fronting your team.
It’s a pivotal role in sales management, and there’s no doubt that your ability to lead effectively makes a significant impact on your company’s success. You can expect this role to test you more than any other. You will no doubt find your development and experience as a leader, frustrating, scary, distressing and nerve-wracking at times – on the other hand, it will also be enjoyable, energizing, exhilarating and deeply fulfilling. How you lead will be remembered, and your leadership becomes part of your legacy in your company, your community and your life. It’s up to you to grab hold of this opportunity and to do all you can to relish it and rise to the occasion. It won’t be easy, but it is the big challenges that offer big rewards!
If you’ve got this far in your sales career without planning your sales activities, I’m sorry to tell you the holiday is over! In all my years of business mentoring probably the greatest challenge I experience is getting salespeople to invest the proper time and effort in planning. As sales manager you will be responsible for sales forecasting, territory management action plans and account development plans, as well as overseeing your team’s call plans. If this is something that you dread, I encourage you to take a different view and apply yourself to the planning process, because to paraphrase the A-Team’s Colonel John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, you will love it when your plan comes together!
Like many before me, since, and no doubt in the future, I did not start out aiming to have a career in sales. It was almost by accident that I found myself, over 3 decades ago, starting down the path of what I think is one of the best journeys one can make in business. With commitment, dedication and the right attitude, I have enjoyed a successful sales career. But had I not had the good fortune to work under some great sales managers, my experience could have been a lot different.
As a sales manager, I needed to learn that it was my responsibility to help my team the way I had been helped. It was no longer just about me, but about what I had to do to bring out the best in those working with me. I was fortunate to have had a strong background in sports training and coaching, which helped me understand what was needed to help individuals and teams be successful. But I still made mistakes along the way, mistakes I hope this book will help you minimise.
When you take the step from salesperson to sales manager you need to understand your role is now one of leading, not doing. You need to leverage the strengths of the sales team and each individual salesperson. You have to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses, and develop them. You need to shift from tactical to strategic thinking.
As I have mentioned in this book, when I was made a sales manager it was based on the fact I was a good salesperson, not because I had the attributes of a potentially good manager. I was initially 'thrown to the wolves', and with no experience and no guidance, I assumed every person had the same objectives and work ethic that I had had when I was a team member. I managed my first team the way I had wanted to be managed. I learned very quickly that my grasp on the reality of sales management was a long way off the mark. Fortunately, my manager saw my weakness, as well as my strengths. He helped me leverage my strengths and develop my weaknesses to enable me be successful. If you want to be a great sales manager, start by really getting to know your team, each one as an individual, and manage them according to their unique personalities and requirements.
Sales is one of the few careers where you can be your own boss and be rewarded directly for the effort you put in and the success you achieve. However, being a successful sales manager will deliver you much more than just financial rewards. As you help your team develop and your company be successful, you will enjoy a satisfaction that goes far beyond the money.Good luck...you are on a journey that will be one of the best you can take.
“Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.” Winston Churchill