– Catalin Stancu
I have had the chance to meet many exceptional Sales Managers during my activity. Whether we are talking about Romanian or multinational companies, their outstanding personality facing their teams is often transposed into remarkable results. They are people with a deep entrepreneurial spirit, who identify with the team they lead or the company they represent.
It’s hard to say for sure what makes these people special. What makes them recognized as mentors, respected by the business environment and appreciated as true professionals. There are some common elements, however, on which they excel.
One of these is the significantly above average ability to functionally understand the business they are a part of. To have what in terms of management theory is called “helicopter view”. These people are able to “climb two steps” in each situation, because from there it can be seen differently. And this makes them correctly identify the challenge, understand the basic components and efficiently find the best solutions to apply with their own team. And if we were to go deeper into the remarkable competences of a top Sales Manager, here are some points that we consider as fundamental building blocks:
- In-depth knowledge of the business environment, the industry and the role of their own company in the category they belong to: In a dynamic world, digitally accelerated, with many information possibilities, permanent concern for positioning your company in the industry, with the analysis of strengths and improvement points, is essential. Whether they use classical tools (such as SWOT analysis) or their own periodic analysis templates is not very important. What is essential, however, is that the synthesis is relevant and objective;
- Top analytical skills; knowledge and use of financial instruments with direct impact in the commercial activity. I do not know a successful Sales Manager who does not guide his own actions and those of his team directly in relation to the financial objectives / goals; The use of P&L for sales channels, for sub-categories or, why not, for regional areas, is fundamental. Furthermore, the level of involvement of the team and the degree of connection with the individual objectives depend on the type of organization, structure and internal climate but understanding the lines of a P&L and the concern for impact cannot be lacking;
- People management and leadership that is recognized, appreciated, and understood at the team level. Adapting the management style to the situation and the level of development of each team member is the foundation. Then, we can talk about in-depth (and individual!) understanding of motivational drivers, and about engaging and performance-oriented communication. Warmth, humility and authenticity are also of key importance;
- Perseverance in action plans; tracking the critical points and adapting quickly to the changes that arise during the execution. The translation of organizational objectives into departmental initiatives and then the construction of action plans needs to be implemented using custom models like RACI or similar tools. What we can definitely say is that performance resides in the rigor with which the plans (with performance indicators, deadlines, responsibilities and deliverables defined from the beginning) are internalized by the team and followed in the analysis sessions. This routine builds over time an infallible work system, in which all members of the sales department can and should be involved and accountable.
And there are many other things that make the difference between good and excellent sales managers. There could be, for example, a discussion about representation inside and outside the organization and about how they manage interdepartmental relationships, or about the relationship with external stakeholders and many, many other things. But we will talk about these things at another moment.
We consider a privilege the fact that our job puts us in permanent contact with top professionals. We learn from successful Sales Managers all the time and it is an honor for us, the Sfera Business team, to accompany them temporarily or permanently in the process of professional development of themselves or their teams. And we always tell them this. We tell them how excited and honored we are to be close to them.
Maybe that’s why the Sales Management Academy project is already a certainty. The first edition, concluded this month, brought us new friends in the community, and our public commitment is to do everything in our power to support them to become even better. The community is just beginning and it grows with every graduate of the Academy. Because our role, as a training and consulting firm, is to be a permanent support, not just in the training room. And we promise you that we will continue to do so.
For more information about Sales Management Academy and it’s next edition to be held on spring 2020, visit salesmanagementacademy.ro or write to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.