High performing sales teams normally have one thing in common; a high performing sales manager at their helm. When it comes to sales recruitment, finding individuals with strong leadership ability is crucial for establishing, maintaining and managing a successful sales team. It takes a number of key qualities and actions to lead a sales team effectively and employers will be looking out for these at the interview stage.
We’ve found the following attributes and methods to be commonplace amongst top sales managers. During the sales recruitment process, especially for managerial positions, candidates will usually be asked to give specific examples that demonstrate the following key behaviours:
Rather than treating a sales team as a singular unit, good sales managers will focus on the individuals within the team. They work hard to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the people in their team and understand what drives each of them. By adopting a flexible, personal approach, they actively support individuals in achieving their specific goals. Career visioning can be a useful tool in helping to define a career plan with an individual and help them to focus on their future goals within the organisation.
Reinforce and incentivise
Aside from implementing and managing an official incentive structure (i.e. salary and bonuses), an effective sales manager will make every effort to recognise and reward good performance wherever possible. On-the-spot praise, celebrating success, promoting and developing high flyers and instigating in-house competitions are all positive ways to reinforce key behaviours and incentivise good performance.
Coaching and ongoing support
A great sales manager will believe in ongoing development for his/her team and in helping them to overcome challenges and achieve their maximum potential. This can be in the form of one-on-one coaching and clear objective setting as well as helping to facilitate regular training opportunities. An open, honest dialogue will need to exist between a sales manager and their employees, and a good sales manager will ensure continual two-way feedback takes place.
Motivate and inspire
Sales can be highly pressurised, difficult and sometimes disheartening. Morale can have a big impact on the success of the team and a sales manager should recognise this. The ability to inspire confidence, offer encouragement and direction as well as boost energy and morale are all integral to great sales leadership.
Industry and product knowledge
A brilliant sales manager will know their product/service and their industry inside out. They will share insight, industry updates and relevant information with their team on a regular basis to help grow the knowledge of the team to best equip them to deal with clients/customers.
When it comes to recruiting sales candidates, we at Michael Page Sales understand the importance of not only matching technical skills and sector experience, but the difference the right cultural fit can really make to your organisation.
We pride ourselves on our extensive database of skilled sales people who are open to considering new opportunities. But we don’t stop there – we make sure that we actively network with sales candidates and employers to ensure the optimum match of skills, experience and personalities.
To find out more about our sales recruitment expertise, please get in touch with your local Michael Page Sales team.