Every member of your organization is vital, but no one has the reach and impact that your managers do. So, it is essential to ensure that your managers are also leaders. You can make sure this is the case by providing sales leadership training for your management team. Sales leadership training can take many different forms, but it generally focuses on effective strategies for managing interpersonal relationships and business operations. Not everyone promoted into a managerial role has the leadership skills that are needed to excel right away, which is why sales leadership training is crucial for managers to achieve excellence. With the right sales leadership training, your sales managers can become visionary sales leaders.
What Is Sales Leadership Training?
When you need to promote someone into a sales management position, you likely begin your search with the top performers on your sales team. It stands to reason that people who are good at their job will be good at managing people in the same position, particularly in sales. You have to be personable, persuasive and organized to excel in sales, and those are the traits you want in your managers. Unfortunately, they do not always transfer. That’s where sales leadership training comes into the picture.
Sales leadership training is a holistic approach to professional development for sales managers or those who aspire to managerial positions. It tends to focus on scale and perspective. As an individual working under a manager, you are responsible for your issues, interactions and work, but no one else’s. You still have your own problems as a manager, but you also have to contend with the issues, projects and interactions each of your subordinates deals with. They are your responsibility too.
If you are promoted into a management position or you would like to be, you likely already have great problem-solving and communication skills. Applying those skills across an entire department might be more of a stretch than you think it will be though, and even people who consider themselves big picture thinkers can struggle to do so on the kind of grand scale that management requires.
Benefits of Sales Leadership Training
The point of sales leadership training is to improve the leadership skills of your sales managers. Because managers are the backbone of an organization, the benefits are nearly limitless. Your employees will be happier and more productive, and you will see improvements in your revenue stream, too. It is difficult to separate the operational aspect of your business from the interpersonal part given how interconnected everything is, but we have done our best for this section.
Whether you consider your company’s sales operations from a top-down or bottom-up perspective, your sales managers are what connect your goals for your company with what your employees do daily. You rely on your managers to communicate the company’s goals and values to your lower-level employees. Your lower level employees rely on your managers for guidance, instruction and a sense of direction. Either way, without well-trained sales managers, the entire process breaks down.
Some highlights of sales leadership training from an operational perspective:
- An increased likelihood of meeting your quarterly sales goals.
- Measuring results to understand where the company is in relation to where you would like it to be.
- Clear communication, reducing misunderstandings and mishaps for increased productivity.
Well-trained sales managers are not limited to improving the professional side of your company. They can also drastically boost how your employees feel about each other, their managers and the company itself. Improved morale among employees means a happier, healthier work environment and culture. These factors can improve productivity and reduce turnover rates. You will also see less burnout and frustration since your sales managers will have the skills they need to support their subordinates.
Some interpersonal highlights you could see with the right sales leadership training:
- With sales leadership training, your managers have the tools they need to support their team, ensuring the best results.
- Better collaborative skills mean more effective cooperation and communication throughout your company’s hierarchy.
- Clear communication again. It’s that important.
Sales Leadership Training Programs
Every company is unique, which means different sales leadership training programs will appeal to different industries, businesses and individual decision-makers. However, there are several things you should look for in every program.
Creating a Success-Oriented Environment
All it takes is one person who is ill-suited or poorly trained for a management position to turn a dream job into a toxic situation. Any training program you invest in should cover how managers can work toward creating a working environment that focuses on success without driving employees too hard. Remember that the law of diminishing returns applies to your employees.
How to Encourage a Team
Related to creating a success-oriented environment, your sales managers need to know how to encourage their subordinates. Every individual has different wants and needs. So your managers need to be able to understand what motivates a wide range of people. Your employees will be far more willing to put in extra effort if they feel like their manager believes in them and cares about their success.
How to Influence Company Culture
A manager who is unaware of the influence they wield is like a bull in a china shop: destructive and expensive. A good sales leadership training program will teach your managers how to have a positive influence on their subordinates as well as the company as a whole. No passive-aggressive emails, no petty power plays and no drama.
What to Do About Poor Performers
As much as most managers would like to avoid having an uncomfortable discussion with someone who has been underperforming, it is more than likely that it will have to happen at some point. The right sales leadership training can help your managers feel more confident when having tense conversations. Additionally, it teaches them how to offer constructive criticism that will help the employee in question to improve.
Running Effective Meetings
How many times have you left a meeting wishing it had been an email? Maybe the answer is just once, but that’s one too many times. Even with an agenda in place and a firm desire to stay on track, many managers find themselves running a half-hour late with far too many bullet points left to cover. With the right sales leadership training, you can ensure that every minute spent in a meeting is valuable.
When you hear about boundaries, it’s usually in a personal context. They are often framed as something people who are not in positions of authority or control should implement. However, the best leaders have firmly established boundaries too. This goes for how much of their personal life they bring to work. And also for what they do while they’re there. Who is responsible for what task? How flexible are the deadlines? How you divide the labor, and what input does everyone on the team have? All of these factors fall under the category of establishing boundaries.
Sales Leadership Courses
When you’re looking for sales leadership training courses, there are a few factors you need to consider. First and foremost is exactly what you’re hoping to get out of a training course. This will depend heavily on the strengths and weaknesses of each of your managers, as well as your company’s values and operations.
It seems every list of leadership skills advertising themselves as traits you and your managers need to have. So find something that works for you. With many businesses that have moved their operations online in recent months, do you want your managers to be expert IT problem solvers? How much conflict are your managers likely to face in their roles? With clients? Peers? Subordinates? While a new manager might solve the issue of a toxic workplace, you cannot promote an inexperienced manager into a tense situation hoping the move will solve all of the problems and expect it to work the way you want it to.
What kinds of decisions will the person need to make? Some are significantly more difficult than others. Has the person been proven to be patient? That’s an extremely underrated management skill and not one that’s easy to teach, even with a sales leadership training program.
Consider the past professional experience your sales managers or prospective sales managers have. If they have ingrained habits from other workplaces or industries, will they need to unlearn them before they can operate effectively in your industry?
Sales Leadership Training for Sales Managers
Sales leadership training is a must-have for any company with a sales division. It is one of the most effective ways to improve your sales, the productivity of your employees, and the confidence of your managers. If you have not implemented a sales leadership training program yet, it might be because you don’t know where to begin. That’s understandable. There is an overwhelming number of programs out there, and not all of them will be right for you.
There’s also the matter of cost. Ideally, sales leadership training will have a fantastic return on investment. However, that requires you to have chosen a program that is cost-effective, valuable for your employees and teaches the skills you want it to.
You can book an obligation-free video call with Selling Revolution’s Ryan Chute today for expert advice from someone who has worked across a wide range of industries to boost sales. From there, you can go anywhere.