What Are a Sales Manager’s Responsibilities?
If you want to hire the right sales manager for your company, you first have to understand what you’re looking for
If you’re a CEO or founder, you know that it’s vitally important to bring the right people on as your business grows. You probably started out selling your product or service yourself, and then gradually hired salespeople as your customer base grew too large for you to handle by yourself. Now, as your sales team has grown, it may be time to being someone on board to help you manage them.
Understanding a sales manager’s role and the skills they need to bring to the table will help you add an asset who generates leads and conversions to your business. Here’s what you need to know before you start interviewing candidates:
What is a sales manager?
A sales manager is the professional in charge of the success of your company’s sales operations and customer acquisition approaches. They lead and supervise sales agents and execute day-to-day sales operations like overseeing sales strategy, setting goals, and tracking performance.
Sales manager responsibilities
Sales managers play a primary role in determining the success of your sales department and your business relations with potential customers. Their main responsibilities include:
Overseeing sales strategy
A sales manager is responsible for outlining a sales strategy and adopting effective practices to realize success. They lead the sales team in setting target markets and objectives to help boost sales performance. This includes:
- Setting sales goals: A sales manager is responsible for setting exciting, realistic, and achievable goals that will keep your sales team motivated and boost productivity (and your bottom line).
- Creating sales plans: To meet their sales goals, your team will need a plan, and part of your sales manager’s job is to provide them with this roadmap to success.
- Mapping the buying process for customers: Your sales manager will also need to understand your customer experience and help determine the best channels to be used by the sales team in closing deals.
Managing your sales team
In addition to strategy, your sales manager will be responsible for overseeing your sales team, including teaching them techniques and skills to close quality deals. They should take new and existing members through training sessions, familiarizing them with your company’s sales process, products, and target audience.
Your sales manager should help your team hone their communication, creativity, and problem-solving skills so they can smash their sales goals. They should also be in a position to identify knowledge gaps in your team and help overcome them. This is especially important with new hires. Your sales manager needs to understand their weaknesses and strengths and work to mold them into selling superstars.
Recruiting and hiring a sales team
A good sales manager should also take the responsibility for recruiting new team members off your shoulders. They should be responsible for creating a job description and conducting interviews to shortlist the best candidates. You still may want to interview the finalists for yourself, but your sales manager should have done all the grunt work before the candidates reach your office, so you’re only talking to the best of the best.
As a sales leader, your manager should be in position to notice talent and skills that align with your organization’s goals and visions. This will help your company select the right people to meet your goals and grow your business.
Collaborating with customer-based teams
Shepherding deals through the sales process is another sales manager role. A good manager works with your customer-support, marketing, and sales teams to create leads and then turn those leads into prospects and conversions.
This includes helping develop educational and engaging content or demos that speak to your prospects’ needs. A sales manager may work on creating sales-enablement assets like demo recordings or email templates that target potential buyers. Your marketing and customer-support departments should also equip your sales manager with information about customer patterns, which will help them devise effective strategies to increase conversion rates.
Sales manager experience and qualifications
When hiring a sale manager, you want to make sure they have certain minimum qualifications and experience levels. You need to know that they have the background knowledge to thrive in the role and take on all of the tasks you want to delegate to them. After all, you want a manager who can take the load off your shoulders, so they need to have the skills to pick up the ball and run with it. Some of the qualifications include:
- Bachelor's degree in business, marketing, public relations, or communication
- 2 to 5 years of experience working as a sales agent or representative
In addition to these basic qualifications, the ideal sales manager will have “soft skills” that reinforce their years of experience and qualifications. These include:
A good manager can identify and relate to the problems their team members are experiencing. This helps them understand their team, resolve issues quickly, and strengthen relationships.
Empathy also means the ability to put themselves in a prospect’s situation. The best salespeople can feel and think like their target audience, enabling them to speak to their prospects’ pain points and attract and convert more customers.
A good sales manager must be able to communicate clearly and precisely when interacting with their team, customer support, marketing, and potential clients. This includes using the right tone and language in professional situations and being considerate when addressing customers, team members, or other staff to promote understanding and unity.
Your sales manager needs the ability to solve problems for themselves instead of running to you for everything, so solid critical thinking skills are a must. You want a manager who reacts calmly to rapidly changing situations and thinks outside the box for the best solutions. Thinking critically will help them make well-informed decisions, even on urgent issues.
By definition, a manager is a leader, so you want someone who can inspire your employees to new levels of productivity, delegate responsibilities strategically and professionally, and bring your staff together to work as a true team. Good leaders pay attention to their team’s concerns and address them promptly – and fairly – creating a warm and accommodating environment for everyone.
Remember, your sales manager is very much your representative to your sales team, so ultimately, you want someone who reflects the best values of your organization. And if you’re having trouble finding the right candidate – or getting started in your search – there are experts out there who can help.
Contact MetaGrowth Today
At MetaGrowth Ventures, we can help you recruit, hire, train, and coach a sales manager –or an entire sales team – that gets results. Contact us to learn more about how we can help transform your staff into the world-class sales team you’ve always dreamed of.