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The Challenges of Managing a Sales Team

Posted by Thu Le on

We all know at least one or two enthusiastic salespeople. They are persistent, quite annoying at times, but their energy is contagious, and the majority of them are extremely good at what they are doing.

Great salespeople are high-performers

Great salespeople are high-performers, great thinkers, into problem solving and goals driven. But they can be demanding and difficult to handle from time to time.

What could happen when you put all the high-performing, ultra-motivated and result-oriented individuals together and make a team? It probably will not be that difficult to manage them, right? The answer may not be that easy.

Creating a motivating environment for your sales team

Salespeople, more often than not, are the most optimistic people but they value their freedom and independence in their job. They require a lot of attention and motivation both from the inside as well as the outside (incentives, goals, expectations, motivating environment or mentor, etc.).

Therefore, they possibly can’t thrive well in an organisation that questions their ability, or a manager that like to micromanage, because these things go against their “value for freedom” mantra.

Micromanagement kills salespeople's motivation

The profession usually attracts ambitious people, therefore, if you fail to deliver your expectations clearly, underestimate their goals, or do not set up clear performance metrics, their motivation and productivity level can plummet.

Read more: Motivation – how does it work for sales?

Recruiting your sales reps

Hiring the wrong person for any position can bring disaster to the organisation, the same goes for hiring a suitable salesperson for your team.

Acquire the wrong person, it can negatively impact the sales numbers, decrease the overall team motivation, and as a result, reflect poorly on you as a manager.

Read more: Build, retain and develop your sales force

Coaching your sales team

One of the major responsibilities of every sales manager is to successfully coach your sales team. Let’s not forget that salespeople are highly competitive individuals.

One common challenge they usually face is team cohesive. Therefore, the manager’s job does not limit to just oversee them but also to coach them, bring out the best of every single person and join them together in a team.

Read more: 5 principles of effective organisational coaching

There is no “one size fits all” tactic but the fundamental in training and coaching sales teams is understanding your team members’ uniqueness, their own communication style and what motivate each individual. Finding out the best approach for each salesperson is a difficult skill to master. 

Being consistent in the way you manage

We as humans tend to like some people more than others, it is understandable. As a sales manager, there are probably cases where you clearly give your favourite top performers more recognition and higher incentives.

Inconsistency and favouritism are a big “no” when managing a sales team. The last thing you want is your team to notice the unfairness and start becoming frustrated.

Read more: Giving “difficult” high performers special treatment: yes or no?

Overall, sales managers must start with finding the suitable candidates for the team, come up with a plan and strategy to keep them motivated. Furthermore, you also need to have a few solutions on hand to defuse problems, such as those mentioned above, when they arise. It is not at all easy when you yourself also have goals and expectations you need to meet.

If you find the article informative, subscribe to our blog to keep updated on the latest news in Talent Management or visit TRG Talent solution page to find out more!

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Topics: Talent Management

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