You can train someone to sell better, increasing your entire company’s profitability. But can you really teach someone to be a better boss, especially through an online training course? In this article, I highlight five integral sales skills to cover in sales manager online training.
Sales Manager Online Training: 5 Integral Skills To Cover
Everyone says sales is the toughest job after motherhood. And many of us think you have to be a certain type of person to do it. You need in-built flair, gift of the gab, intrinsic charm and innate persuasion skills. But you must also be able to handle rejection with tact. These are useful qualities to succeed in sales, and while many are natural talents, they can be improved through practice. This means anyone can rock at sales if they’re willing. A sales manager needs an extra skill set. Here are five skills to promote in sales manager online training.
- Balance Sales Goals With Team Building
Salespeople have to be really good at reading customers. They have to know when to push and when to pull back, so they avoid putting off the customer. They need persistence because they will be rejected multiple times a day. But they must also possess a sense of subtlety, observation, and instinct. They should know when they’re about to close the deal or crush it. A sales manager requires effective communication skills in both directions. So never neglect to include those in your sales manager online training.
Sales managers need the kind of verbal persuasion that can sell virtually anything to anyone, but they also need advocacy skills. They have to mediate between their C-suite and their team when targets aren’t being met. Then they need to persuade their staff to reach those targets and motivate them when they want to give up. They have to bolster team efforts and protect them from corporate pressure. Train them in diplomacy and clever communication.
- Offering Sales Coaching
A big part of any managerial role is mentorship. Some leaders prefer to manage their teams through fear, but admiration and respect are stronger forces. Think about it. You’ll do a lot to save your life when you’re under threat. But you’ll probably do even more to protect your child, spouse, or parent. In the same way, the average person will work hard to please a boss they like. But if they’re afraid of their boss, they’ll work harder on ... finding a new job.
A good sales manager needs to persuade their team to be resilient. They know that for every 20 leads, maybe one will convert. Then they have to convince the team to try again 19 times. And after a sale, the manager has to support the team through another 19 rejections. At the same time, the sales executives will be pushing for punitive tactics. The sales manager has to juggle and negotiate, keeping both sides happy. Plus, they may need to calm irate customers without belittling staff when those customers demand to ‘speak to the manager’.
- Strategic Planning
There are actually a lot of strategies involved in closing any sale. You have to pick the right prospect, follow up all leads, and be pampering but persistent. Jeffrey Archer’s theory, in "As the Crow Flies", is that you can bully, barter, beg, or best someone into buying. The emotions played on here are guilt, guile, goodness, and gullibility. You can charm your target, aggressively hedge them into submission, or trick them into the sale. None of these approaches sound kosher. But if you look at anything you ever bought, you’ll realize some of these tactics were used. A sales manager needs the ability to do this themselves, so it helps if they start on the sales floor. However, they need to go beyond just selling. They need to work with budgets so that their field staff has adequate per diems and overheads. They need to plot out sales targets, manage distributor networks, plan campaigns, and organize their sales approach. These are all essential units in your sales manager online training course.
- Forecasting Sales
Sales managers must be able to predict sales figures and determine which product is worthy of the short-term spotlight. As a timely example, they need to know which items they should encourage their team to actively promote during the busy holiday season. This allows them to allocate resources more effectively and ensure successful product placement based on trends and customer expectations. Managers don’t necessarily need to be fortune tellers. But they do have to know how to read the market and see what’s on the horizon, for instance, how a noteworthy news event may have an impact on their product sales due to the nature of supply and demand.
- Gathering An Effective Team
Sales managers need to find the right people for their team. Then, they need to bring out the best in them. This may involve hiring new sales employees, assessing their strengths, and recommending resources that hone their abilities. They also need to know how to spot top talent within the organization, for example, a customer service employee who already possesses strong communication and negotiation skills. They should then work one-on-one with the staff member to fill in the gaps and give them all the support they need to ease the transition.
Many sales managers made it to the top by being competitive salespeople who landed the deal at any cost. However, they need a different set of skills to succeed in management, which you can promote in sales manager online training. They need to keep the peace between the higher-ups and subordinates. Good negotiation skills will help them balance between business goals and the very human needs of their sales teams. Inculcate training tips and techniques so they can teach and mentor their juniors effectively. Finance courses are also crucial, so they can learn how to prepare budgets, gauge commissions, and manage money.
Do your sales employees have the online training resources they need to overcome on-the-job obstacles? Read the article 9 Top Just-In-Time Online Training Activities For Your Sales Staff to discover nine training activities ideally suited for your sales staff.