I’ve worked with a majority of managers over the years, and just as many sales personalities. Management styles have varied from person to person, but the best sales managers work hard to help their team reach quota.
In fact, the best sales managers empower their teams to exceed quota.
With 54% of sales reps not meeting quota according to SiriusDecisions, it's important that sales development managers do everything they can to help their team. Sometimes, that might involve subtle nudges and reminders to keep calling. Sometimes, it might involve giving sales development reps incentives through gamification to improve their prospecting efforts. And sometimes, it might involve just listening -- finding out what's working, and what's not, and how the team as a whole can improve next time.
While manager traits vary wildly, I've seen a few consistent themes among the best sales managers who help their teams reach quota. Here are some ways you can empower your sales development team to exceed quota.
1. Sales managers, test them to make sure they’re internalizing your messaging.
You can spend your entire day coaching your team on best practices in an attempt to help them hit their sales goals, but how are you testing them to make sure they’re internalizing the concepts? Take the time to role play with them to confirm they own it. Also, it may seem obvious to some of us, but it can’t hurt to listen in on their sales calls occasionally to make sure they’re putting those concepts into practice.
2. Let them know that they are responsible for running their own micro-business.
They need to know that you trust them. From what I’ve seen, there is no bigger motivator than feeling that an organization has fully empowered its employees to get the job done. The more ownership they feel in the process, the more willing they are to go above and beyond to get to meet and exceed quota.
3. Make sure you’re on the same page regarding their career goals.
Your rep could be an absolute sales dynamite, but is selling something they see themselves doing 5 years down the road? Reviews evaluate their aptitude to do the existing job, but how much of that time is focused on their long-term goals? Assuming you’re both on the same page with their career aspirations, investing in their career will increase their level of loyalty and desire to go above and reach the immediate goals in front of them, such as hitting quota!
4. Remind them that prospecting is not a sprint.
I like to equate prospecting to working out. Just because you put in a 5-hour gym session in on Friday doesn’t make up for the fact that you didn’t do anything else throughout the week. Alternatively, if you did a 1 hour workout 5 days a week, you’ll invariably see a better result. The same philosophy applies to prospecting. Bottom line -- you will be more likely hit quota if you are disciplined enough to incorporate a consistent prospecting plan into your daily routine.
5. They should know you are ALWAYS there to help them succeed.
You can test them, empower them, and encourage their career goals but they should always know that you have their back. They should feel a consistent level of comfort that they can truly raise their hand and say, “This is where I really need help.” You want them to feel that comfort to a point that they simply won’t want to let you down. If they feel you’re truly working with them to hit quota, then the motivation to get there should be off the charts.
Why It's So Important for Sales Managers to Invest in Their Team
According to new research from Aberdeen group, there has been a "quantum leap in the awareness of sales leaders that other motivators -- people's need for recognition, their sense of teamwork, and their competitive spirit -- are ever more crucial in managing today's B2B sales professionals." While individual financial compensation was the top motivator in their report, that number has decreased by 22% since 2012. The next most important factor is internal recognition for positive performance, something sales managers are directly responsible for. See below:
How are you helping your team reach quota? Let us know in the comments below!