8 Tips For Managing a Sales Team

The job of managing a sales team is a tough one.

Having practiced Sales Management for many years I have experienced the almost Jekyll & Hyde life you live of being there for your team & be there for the bosses. Seemingly they want & need different things from you & pull you in different directions.

I learnt through my career that in Sales Management if I created the environment for my team to succeed my life became easier & I could focus on the things that really mattered. In this blog I’ll share with you an approach that has worked for me during my sales career.

Let me talk you through the “8 Wonders of Sales Management”

  1. Be results oriented.
  2. Build the sales team you need.
  3. Set sales expectations.
  4. Don’t hire dinosaurs.
  5. Set high but realistic goals.
  6. Incentivise your team.
  7. Training matters.
  8. Remove clutter

Be results oriented
Hire people with drive and resilience. Create a team that is focused on the key sales metrics. When you put competitive people together it has a positive impact on the entire organisation.

Build the sales team you need
Establish what mix of sales professional you require in order to succeed. Hunters grow from scratch & Farmers grow once everything is in place. Most people are not good at both.

Set sales expectations
You want to get your team buzzing and support them however you can. By setting clear expectations with regard to performance levels helps everybody know what over-performance & under-performance looks like. Performance conversations become transparent & consistent.

Don’t hire dinosaurs
You have to make sure your sales team are good at taking feedback. Only hire sales professionals who are open to coaching, embrace technology advancements to increase their effectiveness & sales professionals who invest in their professional development. Don’t get hoodwinked by the sales dinosaur who will do none of that.

Set high but realistic goals
All sales professional expect to have stretching individual sales targets. Your job is to set them neither too high or too low as you want them to fully buy in to the “do-ability”. Miss this tightrope on “do-ability” & you risk losing them before you even start.

Incentivise your team
Create a sense of urgency & leverage motivation through incentives. For example why not use League Tables around the office & display individual performance against targets.

Training matters
Make continuous learning part of the culture. Every successful sales organisation should have a program of training that is consistently progressing the core of product knowledge, prospecting, opportunity management, territory planning and professional communications.

Remove Clutter
You want to shield your team from internal politics, make it easy for them to focus on the job at hand and be more successful.

If you enjoyed this article please comment and share it with your network.  Please also take time to read some of my other recent posts.


Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]

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