Are you a star sales performer who was recently promoted and given the opportunity to organize, lead and manage your own sales team? Are you experiencing early difficulties in managing your new team? Were you able to address those start-up issues and concerns? Have you noticed that being a great seller does not easily translate into being a good manager of sellers?
Here are some tips to consider during this difficult transition period.
Take it slow but sure. As a newbie manager, you will quickly realize that managing a group of sellers is not a walk in the park. There are many aspects of the new work that you may not have encountered while you were still a seller. Now, you have to address it head-on, respond and or resolve swiftly, to reduce its chance of escalating into a full-blown crisis situation.
As a neophyte manager, you need to work hard to learn the peculiarities of the trade while simultaneously managing your team. Based on my experience, new managers who were humble enough to immediately acknowledge their shortcomings were able to get timely advice and guidance from experienced managers, react properly and responsively, and consequently confront the issues with less difficulty.
Be ready to provide the resources needed. Given the varying financial conditions of your sellers, you may be required to provide your team with cash advances needed for their daily transportation needs, social media postings and advertisements; and non-cash support or resources such as computers or laptops.
As you take in new sellers, you will have to also assess who among your new members can be allowed to meet prospective clients with minimal assistance, and who among them need to be accompanied by more experienced sellers, thus reducing the total number of target client call-outs and meet ups per day.
Without the proper provision of cash and non-cash resources, your sellers may wrongly perceive your action as not supportive of them.
Coordinate your team’s activities. Many star performers believe that their successes were solely the result of their own efforts and initiatives. Unfortunately, that is not always true. Oftentimes, the success of one is usually the result of countless others supporting such individuals.
Industrialization has taught us that everyone can be trained to specialize in a particular task, but we all need to work together in a coordinated manner, so we can produce and get the results we want.
Know your sellers’ strengths and weaknesses. While it is possible for some members to be outstanding performers, it is unlikely that they will be able to sustain it in the long run. As a consequence, the whole group may still miss its quota, and eventually affect even the performer in the team.
Meanwhile, not all sellers are meant to lead. There may also be sellers who are meant to take supportive but equally pivotal roles. Providing them with the appropriate guidance will be very much appreciated by them.
Take on calculated risks and earn rewards faster. Be conservative and take time to achieve your goal. Conversely, take calculated risks and attain your objectives faster.
Adopt best practices. Innovate, and broaden your options. Improve on how things are traditionally undertaken. Think out of the box. You are many steps closer to achieving your goal.
More needs to be done! Great sellers do not automatically make good managers.
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Henry L. Yap is an architect and fellow in both environmental planning and real estate management. He is one of the undersecretaries of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.