I received a phone call for help last week from a new selling sales manager. She told me how happy she was initially to get what she thought was a promotion from ‘strictly selling’ to the role of Selling Sales Manager. The conversation quickly turned to the concerns she had and the struggles she was encountering in her new role.
According to sales managers and leaders in our sales management training classes, the role of wearing two hats, both sales professional and sales manager, has become a more common option for small to mid-size businesses.
When asked, company owners and senior leaders say that filling the sales manager position with a dual purpose selling sales manager helps them relieve some of their own sales management responsibilities and at the same time begin to transition one of their growth potential salespeople into a management and leadership role.
Unfortunately, even though the selling sales manager has become a more widespread role, very few who are given this new opportunity do well with it, at least initially.
If you or someone you know is in this ‘part time’ manager position then understanding why they are struggling is the best place to start if you want to help them reach greater levels of effectiveness and satisfaction. Let’s consider the challenges of the selling sales manager role.
Every company and leader must decide for themselves whether or not a selling sales manager is a good idea for their company. There are several reasons why creating this kind of role inside a sales team makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is expecting a newly promoted sales person to be immediately effective in the role when they are not given the appropriate education, tools, and processes needed to become a successful manager.
Here are a few helpful things you might consider if you are currently a selling sales manager or if you have responsibility for managing someone in this recently popular role.
At Learning Outsource Group we’ve trained more than 40,000 successful sales managers and leaders over the last two decades and according to a very large number of them, great sales manager training can make all of the difference!
Making effective management decisions, understanding and prioritizing work responsibilities, and developing management level trust with employees are not inherited traits. They must be learned and developed.
According to very successful salespeople, they work on average between 50 – 70 hours per week in order to achieve their aggressive sales targets. The way these successful salespeople achieve sales optimization may vary from person to person but the simple truth is that it always takes a lot of man hours to make the best selling results happen. So if any of them assume the additional role of sales manager, the question must be asked, “How are they supposed to keep their sales results up and find the time to manage, coach, and mentor other salespeople?”
The recommendation is simple. Plan.
And, if you intend to implement this recommendation, we suggest that the selling sales manager and the executive they report to consider doing the following exercise together.
Determine the Goals, Time Frames, Tasks, and People Development required for achieving success.
There are other, deeper considerations which we point out in our sales management training classes but this is certainly an easy way to get started. Begin by understanding what needs to be done, with who, and how much time it will most likely take and you should be off to a great start balancing the responsibilities of the selling sales manager.