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Achieving Sales Team Excellence – The Will to Manage

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Thu, Mar 21, 2024

It's difficult to choose what the toughest part of any sales manager’s job is and it can vary by company, industry or geography. Undoubtedly, it will be about people – finding the right salespeople, hiring and onboarding, coaching them on important deals and for skill development. And don’t forget about holding them accountable to the goals established and their activity to achieve those.

Sales managers must also keep their people engaged and utilizing the tools made available for pipeline management such as the company CRM. It is a known reality that salespeople would rather not… Then, there is the motivation factor – how to help each and every individual stay focused on attaining their personal and professional goals, driving effective sales meetings and huddles, to keeping the competitive juices alive. That is a long list, yet not exhaustive by any means. How does a sales manager succeed in this role and achieve sales team excellence?

We rely on the pioneer in the industry and #1 sales management evaluation by Objective Management Group to help understand exactly what skills and qualities drive success in the sales management role. Three key findings are identified and scored:

  1. The Will to be Successful specifically in the role of manager or sales leader
  2. The Sales Manager DNA
  3. The Sales Manager Competencies

The Will to Manage Competencies, as defined by OMG, measure a sales manager's overall drive to achieve success in sales management. Without a strong Will to Manage, it is difficult for an individual to change their habits or learn new skills. Now let’s break that down into the specific competencies within The Will to Manage.

  • Desire: Sales managers feel urgency to take action, prioritize sales results, or care deeply about achieving sales results. While there are many responsibilities that fall on their shoulders, great sales managers put the bottom line first, driving revenue and growth. Certainly, that means that they must be very good at delegating and making sure that they are not too immersed in operations, compliance, or HR issues.
  • Commitment: Sales managers persevere in selling to a difficult prospect, push forward despite their own discomfort, or do what is required to achieve sales quota. And, they help and coach their salespeople to do the same. This is where a sales manager’s own selling ability and learnings from the field can come in handy. Not to utilize those skills and experiences directly, but to teach with them and help their people try different and bolder approaches that have worked in the past.
  • Outlook: Sales managers feel positive, focused, and appreciative about their career prospects. This competency is so important in setting the tone, culture, and even the relationship the manager has with their team. Imagine the difference between a team that has a positive, we will prevail sales leader with one who is downtrodden and feels like the competition has a leg up and the company is behind. The sales manager’s outlook affects the very heart of the team.
  • Responsibility: Sales managers hold themselves accountable for any lack of sales results. One of the biggest problems in many companies is the tendency to make and allow excuses for lack of results and it typically starts at the top. If a sales leader allows excuses and makes excuses, it creates a culture that becomes complacent with not achieving goals and that very quickly affects the performance of the team. For example, if loan operations are slow to process a loan, the sales manager will not use that as an excuse for a long sales cycle. They will figure out what they can do to affect change, no excuses made or allowed.
  • Motivation: Sales managers have a compelling dream or goal to drive sales performance. Motivation is a personal, inside job and it will vary by person, making it difficult to manage salespeople who are motivated differently. Some will be pumped up with praise and kudos in front of the team while others will be motivated specifically by money and rewards. Of course, this also applies to sales managers and while there are differences in how they are motivated, the critical component for achieving sales team excellence, is that they have a compelling dream and can communicate that with others.

Take a few moments to evaluate yourself on these 5 Will to Manage Competencies. The hallmark of an effective sales leader or salesperson is the continual focus on becoming even better at what they do and finding resources to help them achieve sales team excellence.


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Topics: Sales Training, motivating sales people, achieving sales success, sales training tips, sales team excellence


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    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.


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