The New Sales Manager – Part Two

posted: Friday, November 2, 2018

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We recently talked about the challenges of a new sales manager taking over a successful team. Today, we look at the challenges of taking over a team that has struggled. The challenges are obviously different and require a different approach.

When a sales team has struggled, the reasons for a new sales manager are obvious. There need to be some changes made and the hope of the higher ups are that new leadership will facilitate the needed changes. The hardest thing to do in a situation like that has nothing to do with sales goals, closing techniques, or overcoming objections.

The number one objective for any sales manager taking over a struggling team is changing the culture. In many cases, the sales people are just as talented as those you would find on a successful team, but the culture is a negative one. Anyone who has worked in an environment that is negative understands how much that beats you down day after day.

The incoming sales manager’s first goal is often to act as a cheerleader and work on reestablishing the overall confidence of each salesperson individually, as well as the team as a whole. They may have ideas or changes they want to implement but none of those are going to work until they have a team capable of making those changes.

Once you have changed the culture and reenergized your new team, then you can make the changes you want to make. Now the team is going to be more accepting of any changes because they feel like you are invested in them and their success.

It’s possible, even probable, that a new sales manager can start to change the culture and make some changes at the same time. In fact, a smart sales manager is going to do exactly that. It’s easy to go into a struggling team and blow everything up from the staff to the procedures and that may be the only way in some situations.

Most of the time, however, there are good people who just need new leadership and a culture that is more conducive to success. The sales manager who can combine changing the culture with changes in policies and procedures will be the one who turns a struggling team into one that thrives.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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