Like any executive leadership in an organization, the sales manager’s mind works in mysterious ways. Whether we admit to it or not, we all want to know what he or she is thinking. Everyone on the sales team looks up to this person, after all.
Salespeople may hope to be a sales manager at some point as well. It’s one of the first ranks of executive leadership most will ever hold. From a position as a sales person, to a sales manager to the sales director or V.P. of sales, this corporate ladder has excellent potential for almost anyone.
What’s more, it’s performance based. What executive manager doesn’t remember their first management role? With sales, the top-performer who hits all the numbers and is well liked has the most potential to excel through the ranks. It doesn’t even matter what your background or education is as long as you understand and excel within the sales process.
However, as the person who calls the shots, the sales manager has a lot on their mind every day. Mostly, managing how the team does their jobs. To understand the critiques, ideas and feedback of a sales manager, you need to respect their position.
Sales is a numbers game.
If you’ve been reading about ROI, how our sales are taxed, or trying to strategize your executive leadership plan for the new year, this news won’t surprise you. You already know that decisions in business are almost always based on the numbers.
A sales manager, however, as the first tier of executive management, is being held accountable to those numbers. They have to answer for each and every person who did not perform according to their expected output. If someone made less sales than expected, they need to assess the issue and be able to get to the bottom of it.
Wearing the sales person’s shoes – while meeting their goals.
Following that thought, while a sales manager may want to go to bat for you, they simply can’t always wear the sales person’s shoes since their jobs are reliant on meeting numerical goals.
Sales is directly proportional to relationships.
A sales manager doesn’t just juggle budgets. Being involved in business relationships is paramount. They will most likely want their hands in the biggest deals. The more contact a business has with people, the more sales deals will be closed and maintained.
It’s important to remember that a sales manager has to maintain those connections even if a member of the sales team leaves, gets fired or is away on vacation. Holding the careful balance of not stepping on a salesperson’s toes but being involved in the sale is important.
New processes mean lots of cause and effect.
When executive management rolls out new processes, the brunt of the action steps fall to the sales manager. They must coach and educate their teams on how to manage the new changes and keep the sales ball rolling.
New sales people may also be needed so their basic training has to be kept up to par with the company’s high standards. You can imagine how many brain cells it takes just to keep changes in order for a team of people.
Presenting strategies to upper management.
Finally, don’t forget where all the feedback as to what changes should be made come from – the sales manager. If he or she is taking your feedback, they are reporting it to someone somewhere within the company.
The presentations a sales manager gives to executive leadership will focus on how to improve the sales process and sales numbers for the company. These powerpoints, graphs, charts and spreadsheets don’t just have to look pretty – they must be very accurate to support the recommendations.
If you’ve been trying to figure out what goes on in the mysterious mind of a sales person, look no further. It’s all numbers and business up there – mixed in with some interpersonal relationship building. That should keep your synapses firing.