A lot of information exists on how to get salespeople to perform efficiently. Indeed, a quick Google search will reveal thousands of webinars, blogs, books, programs, and more. All of this information is valuable and important, but it often forgets to address one key thing: the sales manager. This is where Stephen Buzzi comes in, however, who understands like no other the importance of proper management.
Unfortunately, many managers, and particularly sales managers, are not leaders. They are salespeople, and often very good ones, who got a promotion. But leaders and managers aren’t sales people. They are inspirational, they are motivators, they are people-people. So how can their skills be properly utilized?
Again and again, salespeople who are promoted to sales managers fall back into what they are comfortable with: selling. They presume that their team will simply copy what they do. But they forget that their role has changed. Suddenly, they have to manage people to deliver the work that they do. As a salesperson, they had to manage their quota. Now, they have to manage the quota of every individual in their team. And they have to be able to do all of that in the same amount of time as before. Unsurprisingly, sales managers often crash and burn, through no fault of their own.
Unfortunately, once a manager crashes, they lose the respect of their team. They find it funny that someone was supposed to be “just like them” is now at the top and failing. And, almost subconsciously, they will push for this to happen. They will delegate, say they don’t know what they’re doing, and point out how the new manager doesn’t help them to develop.
How to Become a Sales Manager
According to Steve Buzzi, the key is that the manager understands their role is now different. They are the glue that holds the team together, but they still cannot perform without their team. They feel good when other people in their team succeed, rather than themselves succeeding, and that requires a big change in perspective, particularly in the world of sales.
Sales managers also have to stop managing transactions. Rather, they have to manage the process. They do not have to meet the individual quotas of their team members, the salespeople have to do that. Rather, they have to put systems in place so that every member of the team can do their job properly, which is to meet that quote. Managers should manage, not micromanage.
Stephen R Buzzi believes this is the greatest difficulty for managers: relinquishing control over their transactions. As they usually come from being salespeople, they are trained to make everything about them – their targets, their quotas, their performance. Suddenly, it is not about them at all anymore, and it is all about the team as a whole. This requires a huge shift in perspective, in thinking, and in behavior. However, by being realistic about that, it can be done and it can be done well, to the benefit of everybody.