A recent study by the ASTD found that only 11% of companies train their managers. If you are a new manager, you are asking, “What do I do now?”
As a newly promoted manager, you need a guide so you do not thrash. Download The Newly Promoted Sales Manager Guide; It will give you clarity in the first 90 days on the job. In this post, we will first discuss about initiatives that derail sales managers. Then we will focus on the importance of a well-developed plan.
Sales Manager Killers
As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. The initiatives you engage in over the next 3-4 months will determine your success. Picking the wrong initiatives can have a disastrous impact on your results. Below is a short list of blunders you want to avoid in your new role:
- Player Coach- If you were promoted within the organization you face a road of tough decisions. Your peers have now become your direct reports. There is now a fine line between fitting in and holding people accountable. What happens when one of your team members misses their number? What if you have to let them go? Doing nothing sends a clear message that mediocrity is acceptable.
- Spending Time with “C” players- Instincts tell you that you can improve results by focusing on the weakest link. This way of thinking is incorrect. You will waste valuable time and effort for small returns. “C” players are not equipped for the role. You are better off spending time with “A” and “B” players. This group represents 80% of the revenue on your team.
- Lack of Accountability- You do not take action on “C” Players. There is a fear that you do not have a viable backfill. So you justify keeping a poor performer than worrying about open territories. Eventually this catches up to you.
Control Your Destiny
A well-developed plan will help gain confidence in the role and direction for the team. Below we explore four critical areas to focus on in the first 90 days.
- Strategy- This might sound elementary however more complex than you think. As the leader, you have a balancing act to figure out. You have to align corporate, customer, and team goals with a laser focus. It all starts with you and the ability to make it all come together. Once completed, your team will have clarity on where to spend their time. The Newly Promoted Sales Manager Guide helps you build a foundation.
- Process and Productivity- Here your team needs to understand what activities drive the most value. Are they properly aligning their activities with the buyers? Top-level teams understand this and build a process that you can duplicate. Not everyone sold the way you did. You have to tell them, show them, coach them, and redirect them. If you do not know what these key activities are, learn quickly.
- Sales Talent Management- Let’s face it, you are going to have to make changes eventually. Do you know what an “A” player looks like in your space? What are the key competencies? Where do you find them? Not knowing how to pick talent as a manager will limit your career potential. Eventually your “A” player will be promoted or move on. You will be assessed on the people you hired and developed.
- Metrics and Rewards- You are what you measure. Here, leading indicators are as important as lagging indicators. How often does your team use the job aids? Are they planning prior to major interactions? How many calls are they making? These are all just as important as closing ratio, average deal size, and sales cycle.
The actions you take in the first 90 days will dictate your success. The stakes are high your career is on the line. Doing this without a guide is a recipe for disaster. The first thing you need to do is slow down. Secondly, download The Newly Promoted Sales Manager Guide, fill it out, and then review it with your boss and team. This will dramatically increase your chances for success.