Sales Manager Jobs: Should a Sales Manager Sell?

Should a sales manager sell, and if not, what are these professionals meant to do to support your team? In some organizations, sales managers do have a sales quota that they need to reach, but most experts agree this isn’t the ideal situation. Companies that distract their management with individual sales requirements may be causing more confusion.

Sales manager jobs description

A sales manager is a professional in your sales team committed to supervising and organizing other sales professionals.

This individual is responsible for managing organizational sales, and improving performance by creating sales plans, setting targets, and assigning tasks to specific staff members. The sales manager also coordinates with marketing departments and business leaders on lead generation and opportunities.

Sales manager jobs can vary, but most of these professionals will handle all tasks that involve overseeing the performance and managing the activity of their sales teams.

Should a Sales Manager Sell?

Sales managers often have a great deal of experience in sales strategies and techniques. Because of this, business leaders often assume that giving their sales managers their own sales quotas is the best way to generate a return on investment. However, asking a sales manager to supervise a team and sell at the same time splits their attention, and can lead to negative results.

A sales manager’s role is about optimizing team performance, aligning the team towards a common goal, and ensuring positive results. When sales managers also have to sell, it prompts issues like:

  • Conflict of interest: A manager who is also selling will be competing for excellent results with the sales representatives they’re meant to be managing and helping to grow. When a manager is selling as they supervise their team, the sales team will also be suspicious of whether the manager is keeping the best clients and leads for themselves.
  • Ambiguity: Sales teams need to see their sales managers as a source of leadership and inspiration. However, it can be difficult to build that identity when a sales manager is constantly switching between roles. If sales reps start to see their manager as just one of the team, the natural equilibrium of the business begins to suffer.
  • Split focus: A sales manager can’t concentrate on generating the best results from their leads and contacts and looking at how to find ways to increase sales for the whole team at the same time. Sales managers should be constantly focused on learning about the market, understanding their teams, and exploring new ways to enhance opportunities.
  • Increased pressure: Even sales managers can suffer from having too much on their plate. Trying to manage a team and achieve sales quotas at the same time can overwhelm any professional. This could mean that your sales manager starts to fall behind in both their managerial duties, and their sales goals.
  • The wrong focus: A sales manager needs to look not just at individual clients, but at the bigger picture and the trends that matter to their team. It’s hard to take this objective approach when you’re working inside the sales team yourself, rather than on it.

Sales Manager Jobs: What Do They Do?

A sales manager isn’t there to help you reach your sales targets by selling. Rather, these professionals improve the overall performance of the entire business, by supervising, motivating, and enabling the rest of the sales team. To ensure the best outcome for your company, sales managers will focus on things like:

  • Rep targets and accountability: Sales managers will help to outline realistic goals and targets for your employees, while helping sales reps to build the action plans they need to be successful. They can check in on progress frequently and offer extra insight and support when needed to professionals who might be struggling.
  • Training and supporting team members: A sales manager shares all of their best sales techniques and skills with their team, to ensure everyone can achieve the best outcomes when connecting with leads. Sales managers can also help with sourcing new forms of training and development for staff who need extra assistance.
  • Motivating sales staff: Good sales managers are leaders for their team, acting as a constant source of inspiration, motivation, and support. This professional knows exactly what it takes to keep each employee working at their best, and they use this knowledge to drive success.
  • Recruiting: When your sales team needs access to more skills, your sales manager can be responsible for seeking out members of staff who will help you to reach your targets. They know what to look for when choosing an employee that will mesh well with your existing staff and company culture.
  • Connecting with other teams: Sales managers can use their wider view of the sales teams and use it to interact with business leaders on new marketing and sales strategies for better business growth.

Sales Managers Should Manage

Sales managers are crucial to the success of any business, but they work best when they can focus on the tasks that are specific to their skills. To get the most out of your sales manager, you should be making sure they’re not wasting their time with sales.

Read also:

What is an Inside Sales Representative?

The Efficiency Consultant: Does Your Business Need One?

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