Few people truly understand how to manage sales people. Too often, someone who has been an excellent salesperson is propelled into the role of manager, and this often does not work. People like Stephen Buzzi, who are expert sales managers, in fact warn against this. Rather, he believes that a number of strategies have to be put in place to effectively enable sales managers to not just improve the efficiency of their team, but to improve moral as well. He has developed four key tricks for this.
- Follow Up
After a salesperson has had contact with a potential client, the manager should write to them to thank them for how their representative was treated. This can be a standard letter as simplicity is very important. The salesperson will do their own following up. This is an opportunity for the manager to show prospective clients that staff is treated properly, while at the same time showing staff that they are appreciated.
Ticklers are small reminders that tell salespeople that they should do something else. Sales managers can use these ticklers as well. For instance, they can follow up with their salespeople to make sure that they responded to the ticklers, how the responded, and what the outcome was. On the one hand, this improves efficiency because nothing is lost. On the other hand, it shows staff that management is involved and cares about the work that is done.
- Saving Egos
Salespeople have serious egos and they have a very fragile and often distrusting relationship with their management. Their morale is very easy to deflate if they receive any form of criticism. Hence, it is important that managers know how to stroke their staff’s ego, particularly when it is appropriate. They should ask questions directly to the salesperson rather than sending out company-wide memos to highlight a mistake. And they should hold their hands up, preferably through a company-wide memo, if they do something wrong themselves. Again, this ensures that any mistakes are picked up on and rectified, but in such a way that nobody is overly hurt by them.
- The Customer
Last but not least, it is important that the manager attracts new customers, and that they make sure these customers come from many different locations and demographic groups. The salesperson’s role is to sell a product or service. The sales manager, however, is responsible for finding the people to sell to. In so doing, both have an important role to play, and the salesperson sees that management is actually doing their job properly as well.
For Stephen R Buzz, these four tips can be applied across the board, whether it is for the automotive industry or a financial service. At the end of the day, all products and services have to be sold, and everybody wants to be treated properly. The above four tips can bring all of that together, making people feel appreciated and improving performance in so doing.