Want to be a Better Sales Manager?

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According to recent research, up to 40% of sales managers fail in their first year* because their skills fail to meet the needs of their position.

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and inspiring your team is more than just setting challenging targets or congratulating people for a job well done -- you have to live and breathe what you do, so your passion rubs off on others.

According to recent research, up to 40% of sales managers fail in their first year* because their skills fail to meet the needs of their position.

So when it comes to being a successful sales manager, what are the key attributes that help ensure success?

meta-morphose International has consulted with hundreds of companies on the sales recruitment, sales training and development of sales staff and has aided some of the countries top leaders in improving their sales performance. The following five points represents attributes demonstrated by the best sales managers.

1.) Communication. In countless surveys, clear, concise communication -- free of buzz words and business speak -- is rated as the most important attribute a sales manager must possess, it's no surprise that listening skills are also a major factor. Employees repeatedly cite their frustration with leaders who are comfortable talking, but not listening. "Communication has to be a two-way process, and those who merely pay lip service to this idea will soon come unstuck," says Roy Bowles, M.D of meta-morphose.

2.) Leadership. With 43% of sales managers admitting they could be better leaders**, it's no wonder that employees often feel they lack clear direction from management. "It's a sales manager's responsibility to offer this direction, while at the same time allowing their sales force the freedom to reach their goals," continues Roy, "A great sales manager guides the sales team to success when necessary, but also knows when to step back and let the team gain their own momentum. This creates an environment where individuals are empowered to succeed; never forget that great people make great things happen."

3.) Integrity. While leading by example is an important first step, in order to properly manage with integrity, a sales leader must approach everything they do with honesty and openness, so those who look to them for direction can trust their decisions.

4.) Inspirational. "If you're not excited about leading your team to success and don't actively focus on inspiring your team, it's difficult to expect them to be highly motivated," continues Roy, "and inspiring your team is more than just setting challenging targets or congratulating people for a job well done -- you have to live and breathe what you do, so your passion rubs off on others."

5.) Willingness to develop. Many organisations assume that employing a sales manager with a good (or even a great) track record is enough to ensure success. While good results seem to confirm this, many companies' sales profits could inadvertently stagnate due to a lack of development for their sales staff and their leaders. "The reality is that many organisations could be doubling their sales performance if only for proper support and training for their sales teams and sales managers. You need to stay fit for selling, regular experience training that changes behaviour works. Talk to meta-morphose if you want to know how to make this happen!"

*Manchester Partners International Survey
**Richmond Events

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Scott Deane
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