Five New Years Resolutions for the Thoughtful Sales Manager
We all have our personal New Years resolutions; exercise three times a week, stop eating fast food, drink more water; the classics. Yet, just as vital as your personal aims are your business resolutions for the New Year. So what changes could be made to ensure that 2014 is your company’s best year yet? Here are a few suggestions:
Resolution #1: Appreciate each individual employee
As a sales manager it’s your job to build, nurture, and guide your team; to do this, you need to hone your listening skills. Many times, employees will fill you in on what they need to succeed – you just have to want to hear it. Remember that employees from different generations have different needs – and respond better to varying management styles. Give your Gen Y sales people flexibility in the workplace, and their productivity will surprise you. Baby Boomers want job security and the freedom to work the hours that fit in with their lives. Both likely have different learning styles as well. Put in the effort to find out how they each retain information and it will pay off in the long run.
Resolution #2: Become a customer manager as well as an employee manager
In addition to being a manager to your employees, you are a customer manager as well. Make sure to strategize and foster customer engagement. Be aware of new competition, technology changes, and shifts in demographics – all will affect the needs of your customers and you will benefit from staying on top of these needs.
Resolution #3: Align employees with company goals
Executives depend on you to help your workforce meet the goals of the company. To do this you must align your employees and steer them in the direction that most improves the business. Providing clear and actionable objectives to your team is one of the most important qualities of a sales manager, allowing you to make everyone feel like they are doing something that matters and benefits the organization as a whole. The more clearly you communicate these goals, the more likely they are to come to fruition.
Resolution #4: Retain top talent
We all know it can be tricky to please everyone, but being respectful of your employee’s needs goes a long way. Make sure that their pay is both competitive and timely. In addition, don’t abuse their time. Quality of life continues to become more important to people – and you know your competition is making an effort to provide the best work-life balance possible to attract those rock stars.
Resolution #5: Make sure you have the right tools
When you have the right tools to do your job you are doing your work force – and yourself – a huge favor. With the right incentive compensation tool you can eliminate payment errors, easily align territories, and set transparent goals. Automating your system has a high impact on employee satisfaction, in addition to making your life easier and streamlining your process.
If you’re a sales manager remember that you are a critical and integral piece of your organization’s success. You are an essential agent of change, so it’s extremely important to be aware of market changes as well as changes within your own organization.
Designing Sales Compensation Plans
With careful consideration and strategic design, you can use incentive compensation to inspire your teams and empower them to perform above and beyond the competition.