Thinking Outside the Box: The Role of Today’s Sales Manager
One of the most vital positions within the home improvement company is also ironically titled, because the role of the Sales Manager should be to manage people (not sales).
An effective Sales Manager should conduct interviews, evaluate personnel, hire and train fledgling salespeople, all while managing to upgrade the skills of those in the job for a longer period. They should also be able to handle the veteran and sometimes “prima donna” salespeople. The use of behavioral profiles and sales aptitude tests will assist them in greatly in all of these tasks.
A few of the critical methods for grading each salesperson’s performance in the various categories of the sales role include the “sit/presentation and close rate” against leads issued, the job (estimating and pricing) efficiency, the net retention rate, and even the number of referrals generated by the individual salesperson. Within these categories are subsets, all of which can be graded on a scale of 1 to 5, enabling management to determine the aid and assistance level which has to be provided. An efficient Sales Manager does “ride alongs” with salespeople, measuring the proficiency of the presentation in each step of the sales methodology. Not doing so seriously impairs sales management.
In small to mid-sized companies, the sales manager may also take on the responsibility for “rehash” leads. Frequently, they are compensated in the form of a bonus or increased commission rate at the expense of the salesperson. The latter also acts as a motivator for salespeople to close the deal before the lead is turned in for rehash.
An effective Sales Manager also has to have a job description which clearly defines their various responsibilities within the management role. Weekly, monthly and annual goals for performance have to be established and they should participate in the creation of these.
Finally, they should be inspirational and act as the team leader while striving to become a great teacher and mentor to those whom they manage. In today’s competitive and changing market place, the selection and growth development of the sales manager is a crucial ingredient.
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