Because the sales management position within any organization if so vital to the company’s health, it is hard for the executive not to occasionally second-guess his or her choice in sales managers. When it comes to hiring, the devil we know is a lot better then the sales manager whom we have to replace that individual with, so the idea of changing sales managers strikes nausea into the gut of many a sales director.
Despite this, there should be some set parameters within your company to determine the sales aptitude of the individual managing your organization’s sales force. Below, you’ll find some of these measurements of sales management competency and, in following each, you should be able to determine whether a sales manager is going to become the future of your company or hinder the future of those under them.
1. Do They Justify Their Worth?
With sales managers it’s all about numbers. Sales is one of the few quantifiable positions, if not the only quantifiable, within the majority of organizations. At the end of the day, sales managers have to make quota and have to ensure that they are teaching those under them how to properly implement business development techniques in order to gain autonomy and drive revenue themselves.
2. Are They Constantly Upbeat?
Effective sales managers can stay positive even in the most stressful situations. They firmly understand that their subordinates will not do well in a pressure cooker environment. For any manager, a positive, bright outlook starts with them and either resonates throughout the company or fails to create an atmosphere that breeds leaders.
3. Do They Dress Nicely at The Office?
I know this sounds like it would a bit of an asinine judgment parameter, but good sales managers ensure that those under them look and dress appropriately around the office. This rule goes back to creating a positive atmosphere: cleanliness and the clean-cut look is an important variable in a company’s success. Think of how differently you think and behave when you’re in your pajamas, versus when you’re dressed to the nines for a formal dinner. Dressing professionally leads to thinking and acting professionally. Of course, plenty of offices these days are fairly casual, but there is a huge mental difference between a crisp button-down and well-fitting jeans, and old t-shirts and flip-flops.
4. Can He or She Implement a New Process Without You?
Autonomy should be given to every sales manager upon starting with the organization. This will help the executive team decipher whether the sales manager can implement a new process without handholding. This means that the sales manager commands enough respect from those under them that they can change current processes that are not working and alter them into streamlined solutions that will make a difference within the company. Getting a sales team on board with new processes can be challenging, but proves a good gauge of the sales manager’s aptitude.
5. How Do They Interact With Subordinates?
A problem with some sales managers is that they have little to no interaction with their subordinates. An effective, game-changing sales manager will be hands-on, implementing consistent, effective training with the end goal of growing those under them. Some sales managers are afraid to do so, for a variety of reasons not the least of which is simple inertia.
When they distance themselves from their subordinates it leaves the company open to insubordination, which eventually leads to turnovers, which will eventually lead to the demise of the company. Out of all variables by which to evaluate a sales manager, this is probably the most important litmus test of how the individual is doing and their future as a sales leader within the company.
6. Do They Implement Formal Trainings?
Implementing formal trainings as a sales manager is key. Even though sales cannot be completely taught out of a book, business development techniques can be improved. The job of a leader is to grow those under them and make them achieve results that they once thought beyond their grasps. These trainings should have the target goal of allowing future leaders to mold and grow other future leaders within the organization.
There are not many comparable roles to a sales manager, even if sales management is by definition a middle-management position. Sales managers are directly responsible for one of the most important things within the company: the increased fluctuation of the corporate bank account. Without a solid sales manager, you may as well be giving your money away.
Ken Sundheim's Updated Search and Recruiting Blog KenSundheim.com Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement NYC Recruiter NYC Executive Headhutner New York Staffing Ken started the sales and marketing headhunter recruiter firm in 2005.