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Episode 88: 5 Priorities to Strengthen Sales Manager's Performance

by Hannah Rose | Apr 17, 2024 10:00:00 AM

There’s a crucial and often overlooked role in sales, the sales manager. While there are lots of tips for success for sales reps and other content geared toward VP levels of sales, there’s not much out there for the sales manager. Doug and Jess cover the key priorities and responsibilities of an effective sales manager, as well as how companies can better support sales managers to maximize their impact.



Additional Resources:

Show Notes:

Pre-Show Banter: 

  • It is New Year’s Day for Doug - opening day
  • Jess is still in basketball season and has had her heart broken by all her sports teams this year so far

The 5 Priorities of a Sales Manager

1. Performance Management

They need to understand performance and be able to manage the performance.

2. Recruitment

Sales managers are the recruiters of sales. You need to be constantly working on your team and developing your team.

3. Forecasting

You have to provide direction to those above you so that they can make smart decisions. You have to provide direction to those below you to manage those decisions.

4. Facilitation & Communication

Your job is to make work light for others. Your job is to know how things work in your organization.

5. Learning & Development

You need to be coaching. If you aren’t living and breathing the training, learning and development, sales reps will flush it down the toilet.

10 Areas a Business Needs to Provide for a Sales Manager to be Successful

1. Defined Dynamic Sales Process & Methodology

To go further, there needs to be a framework that allows for flexibility. No one manager has the same style. There have to be lots of ways to get it right and that has to be defined. (Here's an episode that goes into the behavioral science that effects the sales process.)

2. Strong GTM Strategy

Not only does the strategy need to be defined, it needs to be clearly communicated. What’s the economic model? What’s the game you’re playing?

3. Clear Goals & Expectations

This means that when you have a bad quarter and suddenly the expectations shift, don’t expect the same leverage. 

4. Training & Development

No one is born a sales manager. They need training and development like anyone else.

5. Empowerment & Authority

Sales managers need to be able to make decisions. There are many choices that need to be made every day that are ambiguous. They have to be accountable for that and have to learn from that.

6. Access & Support

If you’re going to be the facilitator and know how to get things done and make work light for others, you need to have access and support. If you need to talk to the CFO, the CFO should talk to you.

7. Dynamic Playbook

You need to be willing to provide the resources to be successful. You have to give sales managers the tools they need and a support team.

8. The Technology Needed

They need a strong CRM configured the right way, and they need whatever other right tech. More often they don’t have the tech they need, rather they have tech that’s a pain in the ass and tech bloat.

9. RevOps Support

If sales managers have to do low-value activities and if they’re not being proactively supported with the right things, they’re not going to be successful. If RevOps can only do one job and can only make one person in the organization happy, that role is the sales manager.

10. Be Responsive

Sales managers are in an in-between place. You need to be responsive to their needs.

Jess’s Takeaways: 

  • Sales managers aren’t only making the sales reps better, they’re improving the mid reps. 
  • Access, support and authority are key to enabling your sales manager to be successful.
  • Don’t sleep on training and development for your sales managers. They need to have the training so they can then coach and train the reps underneath them. 
  • The job of the sales manager is to make work light for others.
  • The sales manager is an inflection point and the enablement zone of your sales work. It’s a critical role.

Next Steps: