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Top Tips on How to Be a Good Manager for a Sales...
03 Aug 2020


Manage and Lead:

If you want to learn how to be a good manager for a sales team, you’re in the right place. You’re about to get some insights and tips from several experts from various different fields of expertise who have all been there and done it before.

Managing a sales team is certainly a challenge, but until you’ve had the pleasure of managing one or being on a team looking to build revenues, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.

10 Expert Tips on How to Be a Good Manager for a Sales Team:

  1. Be results-oriented.
  2. Make learning a priority.
  3. The needs of the sales team now and in the future.
  4. Use the quantity V value ratio.
  5. Manage expectations.
  6. “one size fits all”.
  7. Hire the right people.
  8. Building a team for the future.
  9. Set high, but realistic goals.
  10. Incentivize your team.

David Baga is SVP of Revenue & Operations for Rocket Lawyer, his team was able to grow the revenues from 2 million USD to over 40 million USD in only four years. He spent seven years at Oracle, helping build and lead the sales team. They were able to deliver record-breaking results.

1. “Be Results-Driven”

Hire people with drive and determination. Create an environment that’s very transparent and oriented on key sales metrics. Ultimately, once you put competitive people together during a transparent environment, it drives the whole organization up and therefore the results. Emphasize outcomes to stop people from confusing activity with productivity.

2. “Make Learning a Priority”

Make ongoing learning a part of the culture; emphasize and invest in training and professional development. Every successful sales organization should have a daily focus on coaching that’s consistently developing the basics of product knowledge, competitive intelligence, prospecting, opportunity management, territory planning, and professional communications.

Aaron Ross is the number 1 best-selling author of Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into A Sales Machine With The $100 Million Best Practices Of Salesforce.com, and the founder of Predictable Revenue Inc. consultancy. He was also a former sales expert at Salesforce.com, where he helped increase their revenues by $100M.

3. “The Needs of the Sales Team Now and in the Future”

Before you find out how to manage a sales team, you will need to create one. Identify which category your potential hires fall under, builders vs. growers. Builders grow from scratch. they begin with nothing. Growers grow once everything is in situ. Most people aren’t good at both. Know what stage you’re in and what sort of salesperson you would like, and ask questions to identify the builders from the growers.

4. “Use the quantity V value ratio”

Your expensive people should be spending time on the lowest volume but of the highest importance i.e. building relationships, securing referrals, and partnerships. Your more inexpensive people should specialize in higher volume activities, like turning prospects into leads. This is true for leads, too. follow fewer, but better prospects.

Navid Zolfaghari is the founder of Pinpoint Mobile, previously the founder of the TriFame online talent discovery site. He is also a member at Wildfire Interactive, which Google acquired in August 2012 for over $400M.


5. “Manage Expectations”

You want your team to be excited and you should do whatever you need, to support them. Most people know what over-performance looks like, but not very many have defined what under-performance looks like. Are you comfortable with a salesman that consistently performs at 90% of quota or one who is often at 150% one month and way under the next?

6. “One Size Fits All”

You have many different personalities working for you. Your role is to be both a mentor and an enabler. You would like to shield your team from internal politics or bad sales behaviour, make it easy for them to specialize in the work at hand, and be more successful. With a diverse team, each person should be managed differently – find out what motivates each of them and push those buttons to develop better salespeople overall.

Mark Roberge is the Chief Revenue Officer of the HubSpot sales department. HubSpot is ranked 33 on the Inc. 500 list of quickest Growing Companies for 2011, and Mark was ranked 19th in Forbes’ Top 30 Social Sellers globally.

7. “Hire the Right People”

You need to be sure that your hires are able and are good at taking feedback. You can get an indication of this by doing a role-play during which they’ll conduct a demo for your product. Then ask them how they think they did. Then give them feedback. View them not just on how well the demo went, but also on how open they were to self-assess, taking feedback and applying it.

8. “Building a Team for the Future”

Don’t treat all of your salespeople in the same way. You can put them in teams relating to their preferences and strengths i.e do they prefer to go after the big pieces of business or are they better rapport builders with small businesses? Do they understand certain sectors better than others? Segment your prospects and segment your sales team to deal with them, especially as you grow.

Andrew Riesenfeld is the VP of Field Sales at GuideSpark and the former VP Pipeline at Responsys and VP WW Sales Development, where he helped lead the business which was then purchased by Oracle for $1.6 billion.

Good Manager

9. “Set High, but Realistic Goals”

When sales goals are set high (but achievable), there’s something worth pursuing and your group must believe that anything is possible. If you only reach 70% of a stretched sales target, you’re doing better than achieving 100% of a mediocre sales target, as long as there’s a collective nirvana about what’s being built that’s fueling your success.

Arjun Dev Arora is the Chairman of the Board and founder of ReTargeter, where he bootstrapped the business to be within the top 100 of the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Companies for 2013.

10. “Incentivize Your Team”

One way to illustrate this would be to have sales boards around the office displaying current results and current monthly value reached, or deals closed for everyone. This creates transparency across the organization and team and a way of building urgency and motivation.