12 Things every Sales Manager Must Do, from Geoffrey James
12 Things Every Sales Manager
Brought to you by InsightSquared
and Geoffrey James
writes a widely-
read, daily sales
Inc.com. He has
books, such as
from the World’s
Valley, and The
are big fans of
readers of his
blog. We were
inspired by a
post he wrote on
“How to Be an
to create this
the 12 things
Just like a sports coach, you need to help your team
members to understand their strengths and
Then, you can work together to fix their weaknesses
and grow their strengths.
Like a schoolteacher, you are responsible for teaching
both basic skills and larger concepts.
Make sure your salespeople fully understand how the
product works and how it fixes the business issues
that your clients face.
To be a mentor for your sales reps, draw from your
Help them anticipate problems before they occur. Also
help them develop strategies for unique selling
For the sake of your team, you need to be a smooth
politician. Navigate internal politics to get what you
and your team need.
This is the only way to marshal the internal resources
required to move forward with your leads and reach
To be in any sort of management position, you need to
be an expert communicator.
Be consistently clear with your sales team and with
other departments. Make sure everyone knows
what’s going on and what needs to happen.
It’s up to you to set your team’s priorities. They will
not be able to read your mind and guess what you
want them to do first.
Let them know which opportunities are most
important so that you can use your resources most
Always be looking for new people who could become
useful additions to your team.
Continue to interview promising candidates to keep
your team fresh and ever-improving.
In addition to adding new high-achievers to your
team, you need to cut out the underachievers. Like a
surgeon, be delicate so you don’t upset the others.
If you keep low-performers on your team, they will
waste your resources and drag the rest of the team
down with them.
To guide your team, you must be able to predict the
future to some degree. But you don’t need magic to
make an accurate prediction.
Use a combination of analytics (based on historical
data), observation, and intuition to get an idea of
what to expect.
Like a conductor, you need to make sure that your
team works harmoniously with the rest of your
Work especially hard on coordinating the sales and
marketing messages so that interactions with
customers are consistent.
Meet with your team to discuss both wins and losses.
Make sure that they learn from both – understanding
what went well and what went poorly, so that they
know which behaviors to repeat and which not to.
Be a diplomat. Share credit for both the wins and the
losses amongst all contributors.
Don’t let anyone become a hero for the wins or a
scapegoat for the losses.
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