The sales profession is perhaps the most misunderstood profession on the planet. Too many of these great people get the label that “he/she is just a sales person” as if being in sales is a bad thing. Yet, real professional sales people are the movers and shakers of all businesses and industry. Without them, the world economy eventually grinds to a halt.
Why is that?
Because, what makes a great sales professional is also what drives their spouses, friends, relatives and everyone else around them crazy. They are independent, passionate, focused, assertive, and confident. And they have one of the most difficult (yet not complex) jobs to do.
If being a salesperson is one of the most difficult jobs to do, what is harder? Effectively managing a team of these great (and sometimes not so great) people can be the next rung on the list of difficult jobs.
If you have ten sales professionals in your group, let’s be honest, are all of them going to be the superstars that everyone likes and will they always reach the numbers they are aiming for? No, you are probably going to have 2-3 that are doing a great job, 4-6 that are doing ok, and 2-3 that are not reaching their sales targets and worse may be culturally the wrong fit for your company.
If too many are not reaching their targets on a regular basis, how do you know if you, as a sales manager, are doing your job? You can set out effective KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you know will get the company to success. These KPIs cannot just be for sales closes as it is a process. You must set out KPIs that are also working in nature (i.e. number of calls, number of appointments, etc.) and have an expectation that they will work to reach those numbers.
Then, you can measure your success on the percentage of your team that is achieving the goals set out. IF you can get seventy-five or eighty percent achieving their KPIs, you will find the sales numbers will increase naturally and you will be considered successful.
But, remember, set out KPIs for success and not for minimum achievement. If you set the bar too low they will reach for that bar thinking they have achieved enough. You will have done yourself and them a disservice as they will never reach for their true potential as great sales professionals.