Great Sales Managers

posted: Friday, October 20, 2017

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What’s the difference between a great sales manager and a good one? What makes the great ones great? It’s a multilayered question. It starts with one basic and simple act.

A great sales manager is on the floor as much as possible. They are out there leading their sales team by example. If a sales manager is out on the floor talking to customers, dealing with objections and closing sales, the standards for interaction with customers is consistently demonstrated. When salespeople observe quality sales practices in action, they gain effective techniques to improve their efforts with customers. Subtle shifts in presentation and closing techniques are modeled and tweaks are made mostly without active instruction. Building generous attitudes with customers becomes a natural outcome of sales conversations.

As salespersons observe their managers effectively dealing with all types of customer concerns, closer ties as a sales team are created. When managers actively handle objections and succeed, the division of boss vs. worker dissolves and all staff members are valued as part of the group driving the success of sales. Being actively engaged in the minute to minute operations of the sales floor allows managers to assess the flow of customers' experience of the store, whether it be merchandise placement, displays showcasing items to their best advantage, or observing sales staff "clumped" around the cashwrap.

As managers interact with staff on the sales floor, it is easier to develop positive relationships with the individuals who comprise the team. By interacting with staff on the sales floor, strengths in techniques become obvious and areas of staff development needs can be generated to be addressed at staff meetings. On those rare occasions where corrective action needs to be handled, firsthand observation can produce improvements without drama. Solving problems quickly generally prohibits them from becoming major issues and again, creates the sense of teamwork, rather than critic or taskmaster.

Additionally, as managers observe customer interactions, developing problems can often be diverted before they escalate. Customer service is the name of the game in sales and a manager who circulates the sales floor is in the best position to insure that the standards of excellence prevail.

Quality managers create quality staffs; quality staffs create maximum customer satisfaction.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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