This post was originally published by Jenny Boling on lessonly.com.
There’s no denying that effective sales management training courses have a direct correlation to business results.
But having great sales experience doesn’t necessarily mean reps have the necessary skills to manage a team of unique personalities with individual skills and weaknesses. Unfortunately, when your sales manager fails to keep up with best practices and coaching their team for improved performance, an entire company can suffer. Ouch! That’s why we think that every sales leader can benefit from strategic sales management courses.
Why sales managers need more training
According to research reported in Harvard Business Review, the Peter Principle is alive and well in sales forces: Companies promote their best salespeople to become their worst managers. The transition from salesperson (player) to manager (coach) is neither easy nor natural for most people.
That’s because most newly promoted managers lack critical competencies. They don’t have experience managing others or haven’t recruited, coached, energized, and retained a team of salespeople. And without guidance, new managers are forced to improvise, which creates inconsistency.
We’re not saying this isn’t okay or that everyone should be super fantastic at a new role with the wave of a magic wand. But we are saying that this is exactly why different types of sales training programs are crucial and sales management courses are a sure-way to avoid these problems.
Sales Manager University: Important subjects to cover
No matter how large your business or sales team, effective sales management training programs can be the difference between leading or lagging in your marketplace, profit or loss, and, ultimately, success and failure. Yep, the stakes can be that high.
But what does the best sales management training look like? What essential sales management courses should be included to help your organization empower your sales leader to succeed?
1. How to Motivate Your Sales Team
As a sales manager, you have the opportunity to influence your team’s sales performance in two dimensions: their skill set (what they can do) and their motivation (how repeatedly or passionately they do it). At the heart of successful sales coaching is a sales manager who is also a counselor, cheerleader, guide, and facilitator.
2. How to manage sales pipelines
Sales managers need to closely monitor the market, team performance, and sales pipelines that represent the stages of the sales process. One key part of this course is to focus on only the best leads to make sure you concentrate your efforts on the most sales-ready, high-value leads, and avoid getting distracted by anything that won’t push the needle for you or your business. Also follow-up. This can be as simple as setting a reminder to follow up with a prospect. A certified sales leadership professional should be trained in designing sales management topics for your sales team that includes a visual pipeline of the sales process.
3. How to manage rep and team performance
Managing both individual and team performance includes setting effective goals and giving meaningful feedback on performance gaps. And the first step of managing a sales team is to build one. Identify which category your potential hires fall into: builders vs. growers. Builders develop from scratch. They start with nothing. Growers thrive once everything is in place. Most people are not good at both. Know what stage you’re in and what type of salesperson you need and ask questions to separate the builders from the growers.
4. Leadership Training 101
Leaders lead by example: Be on time, motivate others respectfully, collaborate openly, give effective feedback, the list goes on. The best sales management courses teach ways to improve poor performance from individuals using motivational methods instead of harsh critique.
5. Successful recruiting
A key responsibility for sales managers is knowing how to build a team by recruiting the right people for each position. If you hire the wrong person, it can cost your company a fortune to find, hire, onboard, and train a replacement. There’s no time for that. To avoid this, develop criteria that reinforce the caliber of new hires for your team.
Many companies don’t do enough to develop their sales managers, but we’re here to help. Our training platform enables managers to gain the skills they need to be effective leaders.