Whether you've just been promoted to sales manager or aspire to move into sales management, preparation and training are critical to success in your new role. This can be a difficult transition if you've never served in a supervisory capacity, as it will most certainly challenge the way you think about the sales industry. Your success is no longer solely in your own hands; achieving your goals depends on your ability to lead and mentor a team - which is why formal sales management training can be so beneficial.
There are several steps you can take to ease your transition into sales management and position yourself and your team for success:
- Clearly outline the role of each team member. Now that you're the boss and no longer a salesperson, you must define each person's role within the new structure. Your team members need to know what you expect of them, and what they can expect from you. It's important to establish yourself in a leadership role, especially if you are now in charge of your former peers.
- Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for your team. KPIs are another way to define your expectations for each member of the team. By setting attainable goals, you can monitor individual performance and provide constructive feedback at weekly sales meetings. In addition to holding team members accountable for their performance, KPIs allow you to track their progress and provide morale-boosting recognition when an employee has achieved success.
- Adapt your behavior to your new role. Once you become a manager, your relationship with your team will no longer be the same. To help them adjust to the new dynamic, you can begin with some simple changes, such as moving into a new office and modifying your social interactions. For example, rather than going for lunch or drinks with the sales force on a regular basis, plan an occasional outing when there is a team success to celebrate.
- Complete formal sales management training. Seek out formal sales management training, such as an online certificate program that is specifically designed to prepare you for the transition to sales management. Once you've mastered the essentials, you can move on to expert-level sales management training that will help you guide your team to new levels of success. Online certificate programs not only help you develop vital management skills, but they also impart valuable credentials that validate your leadership abilities to your team and your superiors.
By setting expectations for your team, modifying your behavior and completing sales management training, you'll be on your way to becoming an effective, influential sales manager and creating a winning sales team!
University of San Francisco, which offers a sales management training program, is a ground-based university founded in 1855 and designated by U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's Best Colleges". USF is also regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and was unconditionally reaffirmed for the maximum of seven years during its most recent review.