Now that you have been promoted from a sales rep to a manager, what are the first things that you have to get in place in your role in managing others? What got you here will not get you to where you want to be, so note these next 4 points!
1. Change in mindset.
What made you successful as a sales representative will not serve you well as a sales manager. As a sales representative, your success was driven by what you did as an individual. As a sales manager, you can only achieve your goals through others —your sales representatives. Understanding this basic difference will set the stage for incorporating a change in your mindset which drives your behavior.
Your primary responsibilities are to develop the competencies of your sales representatives and drive sales results. You cannot do this without continuing to hone your selling expertise. (If you don’t use it, you lose it.) You also need to develop expertise in how to coach and train your representatives in real time when they will be most relevant and effective — when you are working with them in the field, after each sales encounter.
Some questions to consider are:
- · How can you expect your representatives to be excellent unless you model this excellence for them?
- · Do you foster an environment within the region/district where sales representatives see themselves as “students of sales” and actively look to get better day by day? A continual emphasis on improving your selling and coaching skills — as well as sharing this focus with your team — demonstrates you walk the talk.
Seek out opportunities to practice what you learn. Adults are not able to learn new concepts and apply them at the same time, which is confirmed by adult learning principles. Learning experts also confirm that in order for learning to become ingrained, practice is essential. Consider the following:
o If I expect my sales representatives to elevate their selling skills and be elite, what am I doing in order to be the best manager and coach?
O How do I obtain new ideas around coaching and teaching selling skills in real time?
3. Provide value.
How do you provide value to your sales representatives when you work with them in the field? How often you continue to provide timely, relevant coaching that will elevate the selling skills of the sales representative?
Consider the following scenarios and how you could provide insight if your representative asked the following questions:
- · “I’m having problems gaining access to a busy doctor? What do I do?”
- · “How do I build a relationship with this nurse who I’m having problems connecting with and who makes the decision as to which sample is provided to the patient?”
- ·“Many of my doctors say, “I’m busy…I only have 30 seconds.” What is the best way to respond to that so I can get more than 30 seconds and actually engage in a meaningful dialogue?”
4. Communicate effectively
To what extent have you clearly communicated the job expectations and accountability to your sales representatives? Is your entire team aligned with this perspective? Do you know how to provide feedback and direction to your representatives so they are motivated to grow and develop?
- · What is the best way to communicate with each individual sales representative to make sure they clearly understand your message?
- · What is the best way to provide feedback to each individual sales representative to help them improve and work on that selling skill that will make the greatest impact on their sales results?
Now take the time to decide where to focus your efforts to make the greatest impact. Don’t try to change too many things at once — identify the top one or two. Then plan how to make incremental changes to obtain your objectives
From: Adapted from a white paper from Delta Point
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