All they have to do, apart from…
1. Set the rates for their team and coach the team to be able to deliver those rates
2. Handle disturbances and arguments on the staff, between the departments that support sales and the sales people themselves
3. Protect the sales people from the meddling of senior managers who have no idea what sales people do
4. Allow the senior managers enough information to make appropriate decisions, without getting in the way
5. Allocate leads fairly (whether this is an open practice or not) reward the high performers, and make sure the appropriate clients are allocated to the appropriate sales people.
6. Make sure the sales people are aware of whats for sale (the menu for sale) and whats not
7. Ensure the sales department is pacing correctly against target for this week / month / quarter / year.
8. Recruit the next generation of great sales people in the organisation
9. Train the next generations of great sales people in the organisation
10. Coach the current generation of great sales people in the organisation
11. Liaise between sales and the sales prevention departments, like credit control, design, production etc.
12. Plan the budgets for the year
13. Plan the budgets for the quarter
14. Plan the budgets for the month for that matter, and plan the achievement of said budget
15. See into the future to anticipate problems, before they happen
16. Deal with difficult clients
17. Close important deals
18. Serve notice on inappropriate clients
19. Entertain the key accounts
20. Remember all the key accounts names, their businesses and what products they buy from you
21. Come up with the ideas for the team sales promotions
22. Come up with the ideas for sales incentives
23. Police said incentives to ensure they are fair and only pay out when business is grown
24. Identify new business
25. Develop new business
26. Coach sales people on developing new business
27. Coach sales people on looking after existing business
28. Negotiate salaries, commissions, cars
29. Decide when to hire, and decide who to fire
30. Take the biggest target in the team (the team target) while this fact is largely overlooked by everyone.
… is to make sure the sales people are seeing enough customers. Thats right, all they have to do, apart from the above, is to manage the sales processes to make sure the sales team are seeing enough people, enough of the right people, enough times to hit the targets.
The most important job the sales manager can do, is to make sure the activity targets are hit.
More Presentations = More Sales
More Big Presentations = More Big Sales
More Annual Presentations = More Annual Sales
And so on.
The problem is, most sales managers are distracted by the above list of 30 things (and thats a minimum in most cases) that get in the way. In some senses, those 30 things are easier to deal with than trying to get a sales person out and about seeing more clients, or picking up the phone to make more calls.
So the sales manager allows this to happen, allows the distraction to get in the way, so they feel like they are doing real work. When in fact they are failing. Failing the organisation. Failing the sales people, failing themselves.
Sales management is a management of processes. More activity = more sales. Simple. It’s the most important job you can do.
To all those sales managers that consider quality to be more important than quantity. What do you imagine you would achieve if you were able to ‘manage’ to increase the activity of your quality focussed sales team? More Quality Sales? Thought so…