Are sales spiraling down? Here’s how to be a good sales manager: identify problems, refocus goals, and let someone pie you in the face

Businesses are always in flux—sales go up, sales go down, and hopefully go up again. Sales challenges face every company; no one is exempt from the ever-changing marketplace. Learning how to be a good sales manager is learning how to roll with the punches. If you can lead your teams in times of trouble, you’ll have it easy when things are going well.

In a sales manager role, your ultimate responsibility is to do one thing: make more sales. If your sales team has dropped the ball, it’s time to pick it up again.

Identify the main problem and figure out how to fix it (or work around it)

There are a thousand reasons why your sales could be down. The situation may be a result of internal influence (employee performance) or external (market slump, time of year, etc.). Whatever the source of the problem may be, you need to identify it before you can figure out a way to move past it.

  • Get feedback from your sales team. Ask them their opinions about why sales have been down. If you find a common denominator with the results, aim to isolate that issue and figure out an action plan.
  • Crunch your numbers. Take a hard look at the numbers and see what areas are lacking. Try to find patterns from month to month and figure out how you can use that info to find a solution.

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client-managerWant to give your sales team the tools to make more sales? Schedule a demo with us, and we’ll show them how to turn leads into customers with less work!

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Always keep your chin up—the last thing you want is a low morale in the office

Leadership is essential when sales are down. Your team is looking to you for advice and encouragement. You also need to balance those efforts with a high standard of accountability.

Here’s the truth: sales teams respect genuineness. They don’t want a manager who is Mr. Bright-Side all the time, who is in a chipper mood even when things are bad. Nor do they want belittlement or micro-management. Above all, don’t be the worst type of manager: the guy who hangs his head and gives up.

You want to be the person who recognizes the problem and fixes it. You don’t bark orders; you delegate tasks. You don’t over-pressure; you encourage. That’s how to be a good sales manager—you lead with your chin up.

Get your team on the ball with new incentives and high goals

You’ve identified the problem and kept the morale high. Now it’s time to push forward. This is how to be a good sales manager: influence the changes you want to see. Enable your salespeople to become top performers in their industry.

Give your team a new incentive. Get them back into the game with renewed energy. Create a high goal for your sales team and hang it up in the workplace. Every day, mark the progress your team is taking toward the goal. Don’t just say, “we need to make more sales.” Give your team something to work towards.

Make a plan, set a goal, and tell them there is a big, fat prize at the end. Something they’re all excited to see, experience, or have. And that’s not always what you expect it to be. Sometimes money and commissions are not the greatest motivators. They frequently fall short to inspire excitement.

Here are few incentive ideas to get your sales teams going:

  • The winner gets to pie you (or the boss) in the face. Yeah, that’s right. You guys have a great relationship, but everybody loves the opportunity to pie someone. It’s funny. It’s harmless, and it gets people excited.
  • Two front row seats at a sports event. Instead of offering cash, offer an experience. If your sales teams are all in a fantasy football league, give them an opportunity to see it front row.

How to be a good sales manager in tough times: empower your team to push forward

At the end of the day, team management comes down to empowerment and focus. You can’t scare people into selling more, nor can you pepper them with “positive thinking” quotes. It’s more about understanding what helps your team do their best work. You may need to make a change, but there’s no better time to get creative than when things are downhill.

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client-managerWant to give your sales team the tools to make more sales? Schedule a demo with us, and we’ll show them how to turn leads into customers with less work!

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Have you ever led a sales team through challenges? Share your story with us in the comments!