Most businesses choose to invest a substantial amount in training their sales representatives. Where they miss the mark; however, is in sales manager training. Sales managers are among the most important members of your team. They have incredible influence over your sales representatives and the ability to control how things look on the sales floor. And yet, 18.6% of companies don’t offer any training to sales managers at all (compared to on 5.5% that don’t train salespeople). Providing the right type of training to help better develop your sales managers can transform customer interactions, improve sales attainment performance, and make it easier for your company to retain your sales representatives.
Reason #1: Sales is Changing
Sales is in a period of rapid change. Today’s companies have more buyers than ever—and those buyers are able to do an unprecedented level of research long before they connect with any member of your sales team. In order to keep up, it’s important that sales managers understand the changes that have been made to the sales environment and how their team members need to adapt in order to meet the changing needs of customers. By keeping your training updated and your sales managers informed of the latest shifts both within your industry and within sales as a whole, you’ll find that your overall sales team performance improves substantially.
Reason #2: Sales Managers Multiply the Effectiveness of Your Team
Effectively trained sales managers become multipliers in your organization. They understand both what is expected of them and what is expected of their team members, and they know how to communicate those needs to the sales team. When you train your sales managers, you multiply the power to impact every member of your department. The effort put into training them doesn’t just impact the customers they work with. It also impacts every employee they interact with.
Reason #3: Coaching Doesn’t Always Come Naturally
Your sales managers were selected for a specific set of skills that they’ve proven to you. Perhaps you’ve promoted sales managers from within the ranks of the sales team, or maybe you’ve chosen someone with previous management experience. That doesn’t automatically mean that your sales managers come with coaching abilities! Learning how to coach will set the stage for a more effective relationship between your sales managers and your sales team. Some people are natural coaches: they know how to get the best out of people and how to share information with them effectively. But many will struggle with those skills. By training your sales managers, you’ll teach them to become more effective coaches who are better able to manage and develop the skills of their teams.
Reason #4: Well-Trained Sales Managers Generate Better Quality Leads
One of the primary difficulties experienced by many sales managers is simply generating enough high-quality leads. 53% of sales managers struggle with the ability to find the right leads for their business. Effectively trained sales managers, on the other hand, know how to leverage marketing materials to help create the leads that they need—including sharing those materials with current customers so that they will in turn help generate leads. Proper training can also help sales managers rate the leads they have in order to focus on the leads that are most likely to result in sales.
Reason #5: Sales Managers Need to Know How to Sell
What steps are needed in order to close a sale? Many of your sales representatives may struggle with this basic step, especially if they’re in their first sales position. An effective sales manager needs to fully understand how to handle sales tasks so that they can better communicate with their employees. Sales manager training enables managers to better train and develop desired skills in their teams. As a result, training one sales manager has the ability to impact as many employees as they have reporting to them. An effective sales manager needs to understand the steps associated with the sales process so that they can provide feedback to their representatives, from offering advice and suggestions on how to improve to giving positive feedback for a job well done.
Reason #6: Your Sales Managers Need to Know Your Products
What is it that your sales representatives are selling? Not only do they need to know the names of the products and services they’re offering to customers, they need to know the details about them: the product specs, what it’s for, and the answers to the questions customers ask most commonly. Sales representatives can always come get the sales manager to answer those questions, but someone on the floor needs to have those key answers! Make sure that sales managers receive regular training about the things they’re selling so that they can provide customers with the information they need.
Reason #7: Training Provides Better Tools
What tools do you use to help your sales representatives connect with leads, track progress, and close sales? Are your sales representatives using the software available to them effectively? Your sales managers need to know how to use the tools at their disposal. It won’t just change the way they use those apps every day; it will also transform the way they’re used by the representatives who work with them every day. Failure to train your sales managers, on the other hand, leads to entire teams struggling to use the tools in their arsenal effectively.
Reason #8: Effective Sales Managers Keep Employees
Many businesses struggle with the ability to keep sales representatives. The average rep tenure is about 18 months—and that means lost funds in both acquiring and training new employees. When you train for sales manager effectiveness, on the other hand, you provide them with the tools they need to create a better environment for all the sales reps who are working with them. That, in turn, helps reduce turnover, allowing you to keep the employees you have and make them more effective sales representatives.
Your sales managers are some of the most important members of your sales team. Providing them with proper training is the most effective way to impact the entire team, from improving their ability to use the tools at their disposal to providing them with more effective ways to close sales, communicate with sales representatives, and more.