A sales manager is responsible for the success of her team. Every sales manager needs to lead by example. Get on the floor with your team of sales reps and be a part of their activities. Constantly push them to raise the bar so that they do not get into a comfort zone, make them accountable for their sales targets, and keep track of their growth.
As a sales manager, you need to have a road map for planning your sales operations. It is essential that you chalk out the objective and sales for the sales force and see to it that they are achieved. Sales reps are good at developing their own strategies but they still need to be managed. Monitor and manage their activities to see that they are on track.
The sales manager has to find ways to keep the sales team motivated to achieve targets. Every person needs encouragement and recognition, and it is the sales manager's job to see that his team members are motivated enough to do their jobs effectively. Motivate the team by recognizing top performers and rewarding them suitably.
Like doctors, attorneys and other professionals who keep upgrading their skills and knowledge, a sales manager is also required to be on a learning curve continuously. With changing times and technology, a sales manager should upgrade his skills and knowledge so that he can lead his sales force effectively. A sales manager who is not willing to learn and grow is unwittingly letting someone else take over.
A major part of a sales manager's time should be spent in coaching the sales reps in the pre-sales activity phase. This mostly focuses on lead generation, competitor analysis and customer need analysis. By doing this the sales manager is preparing the sales reps to prevail over any obstacles they encounter during customer interaction and help them in closing sales.