The First 30 Days of a Sales Manager: Identify the Status Quo
Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
You have worked hard, and now that you have finally earned that promotion, you need to prove that you are up to the job. Most sales managers make the terrible mistake of making changes immediately without evaluating the situation. You need to do your homework and identify the status quo before making any conclusions of your own. Whether you realize this or not, , your success depends on it .
Keeping this in mind, if you wish to prove yourself and boost overall productivity of your team, you need a smart, thorough plan . The first 30 days in your new position as a sales manager are crucial, which is why you will need to play your cards right. If you are not sure about what to do, here are a few pointers:
Communicating with the Leadership Team
For obvious reasons, you need to be in constant communication with your leadership team. Perhaps less obviously, you also need to keep them in the loop about your plans to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. In other words, you need to let them know how your role is changing and reassure them that you are still developing solid strategies that will not only benefit them but the company as a whole.
There is no question that you will be under immense pressure, but that comes with the job. The only way to properly manage it is by constantly communicating with the leadership and sharing your findings. Explain in detail how you are planning to make your plans possible. It is extremely important for you to stay cool and analyze each obstacle that comes your way. As long as you are rational and focus on what is really important, little that will go wrong.
Determining What Needs To Be Done
Apart from communicating with the leadership, you need to be clear about what you need to do to get the results you want. Stepping back to take a look at the bigger picture does not only mean observing your team in their natural habitat. It is during these weeks you need to determine what steps need to be taken in order to make the necessary changes to boost overall productivity. Take the initiative to find out as much as you can about your team. Don’t just restrict yourself to your team. One of the best ways to come up with a thorough plan is finding out about the company’s partners and its clients as well.
While you are at it , there is no harm in looking at the numbers as well. If you make the right moves, the information you acquire will do wonders for you in the long run. Since there are several factors that affect any business’ operations, it would be absurd to base your conclusions on any single one without exploring the other, equally important, factors.
Any strategy you come up with should be backed by your findings. Do the following assessments:
- Check the sales pipeline. This tends to reveal a lot about the sales team, the company’s progress, and available opportunities.
- Assess your sales team and its condition. Include their routines, productivity, energy and focus.
- Analyze the sales process (or processes). Do away with redundancies and examine the process for opportunities to increase your team’s effectiveness and efficiency.
- Do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. This will help you identify external forces and their impact on the company
The idea here s to consolidate the findings. Remember, whether they seem good or bad, they will all be useful in providing a clear picture and helping you move forward with opportunities and challenges.
Overcoming obstacles is not always as simple as replacing certain members of the team. Every business has its own problems, and most of them are related to sales. But what most businesses do not realize is that changing their team is not a productive answer to the problem. Get involved with your team. Get your hands dirty and lead by example. Use and reward new ideas as you come across them , even if they are not your own. Any information at this stage is crucial for you and will help you bring about a positive change. Don’t be afraid to use quick fixes for problems in the short-term, but don’t lose your focus on the long-term.
As a sales manager, you can either help the company grow and prosper, or lead it to its doom. It is up to you to decide what type of sales manager you want to be. If you are not sure how you should go about taking the responsibilities handed to you, take a step back and evaluate the factors associated with your team and company.