Sales department managers oversee one of their organization’s most crucial activities. Sales is the area of operations concerned with prospecting and directly communicating with customers while facilitating transactions on the front line. Sales managers must be skilled motivators with the ability to inspire commitment and high performance from their salespeople.
Sales employees face one of the most challenging, and often exhausting, tasks in an organization, and their income levels can vary significantly in different industries. Salespeople need dynamic, inspirational leaders to keep them on track, help them to maintain a positive and ambitious attitude and drive them to excel by increasing individual and group performance.
Training and evaluation can do little to improve the performance of the wrong candidate. Choosing the right people for the job is vital in the sales department. It takes a specific personality type to excel at sales, and an employee with an incompatible personality is almost destined to move on to another position eventually.
Choose people who are highly energetic and outgoing. Find candidates with highly competitive natures who strive to excel and come out on top in anything they do. In addition to these qualities, managers must have the ability to lead others, resolve workforce issues and delegate authority.
Sales managers should always be trained on the front lines. A majority of direct sales companies implements a formal management advancement track, starting everyone at the entry level, so that managers have a true understanding of what it takes to excel in the department. Training managers on the front line also allows them to establish credibility from their exceptional performance, which can help them to motivate and inspire employees in the future.
Evaluating a sales manager in terms of his subordinates’ performance can be an effective way to determine his own performance. Examine the team’s ability to meet quotas, and examine individual increases or declines in performance among team members. Evaluate revenue growth from sales activities as well.
Sales managers are responsible for a number of specific functions that can guide your training and evaluation programs. In addition to hiring and training new sales employees, managers are responsible for developing each employee’s skills, setting quotas and performance goals, assigning salespeople to specific areas, and performing performance evaluations of sales employees.