Make Way for the Transformational Sales Manager

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Make Way for the Transformational Sales Manager

Sales Manager vs Transformational Sales Manager?

I’ve always had a tonne of appreciation for a good Sales Manager, they are rare and often under-rated.

A good Sales Manager juggles the commercial tension from above, whilst satisfying the needs of the sales team. Tirelessly stuck in the middle, trying to broker the best outcomes for both.

Plus the day job – steering the sales team through hungry competitors, market fluctuations, motivational challenges and the ups and downs of the economy…and now we’re adding pastoral care for the team, managing remote workers, increased levels of sickness and absence, and a tough recruitment market.

It’s no mean feat to cover all that and one that should be applauded.

So challenging is this role that today I’m asking you to consider if all of these functions should sit within one job function – that of Sales Manager?

It’s time to look strategically at who owns what within the sales team, because no matter how good your Sales Manager is – and no matter how big an asset they are, having all this responsibility in one place is a huge risk to any business…for them and for you.

And it’s not always that much fun for the Sales Manager.

Introducing the Transformational Sales Manager

Transformational Sales Manager because we need to stop using ‘Sale Manager’ as a job title to describe the person that manages every aspect of the sales team.

At best it’s an umbrella term, at worst it’s an endless job spec!

Here I’ve broken down some of the critical business and sales functions that often rest with the Transformational Sales Manager’s team. These are often stand alone or part times / flexi roles on their own, but each one has a clear and defined focus.

Take a look and see what you think…

Critical Role Functions Aside from Sales Manager:

I say critical, because they are.

No sales team is run for fun.

The sales team and supporting infrastructure (including marketing) exist to make money, build market share, keep the competitors at bay…as well a provide jobs, build communities and create legacies – but, putting all that aside, there needs to be a nett gain…

With this in mind – all of the roles detailed here are part of building that sustainable nett gain.

Here are some of the critical job functions.

See what you think…

Sales Operations Manager

Making sure the sales team have everything they need – strategic oversight that co-ordinates sales with the rest of the business – provides a link between sales, marketing, customer service, finance. Short term and long range view. Creating and owning Best Sales Practice and ensuring its adoption across the whole function.

CRM Manager

In charge of the CRM and data quality as well as uploads and extractions. Critically running GDPR protocols as well as looking at systems integrations, data collection, reporting formats and the integrity and security of the sales system. Can be working along side a Sales Data Manager who looks after data sourcing, data manipulation, and loading

Sales Management Information Lead

Responsible for pulling the right reports at the right time. Possibly a specialist in PowerBI and excel. Generates reports based on what the business needs to see.

Sales Analyst

Reviewing reports on performance, looking for spikes, dips, trends. Interrogating all sales data to get incremental wins – in charge of feeding the Sales Coaches and Sales Performance Manager…perhaps performing a role something like this – Sales Insights Audits for Sales Success

Sales Coach

100% devoted to coaching the sales team. Splitting time between the team based on performance level, setting up individual performance improvement plans (check this for more on Positive Performance Improvement Plans)…not only dealing with performance but also working with the individual on their career, development, growth, confidence and potential.

Sales Performance Manager

Closely aligned with the Sales Coach – but often one level ahead in that the Sales Performance Manager owns the sales numbers, is a point of escalation for non-performance. Check the link to find more information on the Sales Performance role. Typically a Sales Performance Manager only works with sales improvement interventions, leaves the broader range of sales coaching to the sales coach. Sales coaches often report into the Sales Performance Manager. Critically responsible for overseeing accurate sales forecasts and predicting sales results.

Do You Need Every Single One of These Job Titles?

Absolutely not.

But what you do need is someone who has these job functions as a critical part of their role.

Overloading all of these on to one person is a risk – and a big one.

For an average size sales team of 20 people I’d like for three to four of these job titles to be filled, including a minimum of 2 coaches.

But there is something that’s even more important to consider.

I’ve been helping sales teams transform their sales results for a very long time.

The most common faults I find – consistently in under performing sales functions are these:

  • Not enough meaningful and regular sales coaching
  • Poor attention to the small day to day numbers that contribute to the big top line numbers
  • Not being able to forecast properly or accurately
  • Swollen, out of shape CRMs’ that are just dumping grounds for random lists
  • Lack of clear strategy.
  • Inability to identify what a perfect prospect looks like – (this is a game changer)
  • Zero competitive value proposition
  • Happy to rely on discounts to get deals in at the month / quarter end
  • Next to zero insights into what competitors are doing

All of these are easy fixes – but you need the:

  • Right people
  • Correct structure
  • Time
  • Skills

The old Sales Manager function has gone – the replacement is the Transformational Sales Manager – bridging the gap between today and tomorrow, owning growth, direction and speed.

So What Does the Transformational Sales Leader Do?

And that’s a fair question now you’re considering the role functions outlined above…

The answer?

Quite a lot really when you think that the typical Sales Manager is managing up for a large part of their time, as well as doing the day job and managing the sales team and sales team performance.

But – most importantly – the Transformational Sales Leader – aside from being the control centre for all of the above sales performance functions should be looking externally and building strategies to help the sales team stay on top of the market, destroy competitors, building niches, exploiting trends and driving strategic competitive advantage.

Transformational Sales Leader is a sales improvement and growth role. Being a sales leader means being out there – not buried in a screen analysing data or sitting side by side with sales reps during coaching.

Working closely with Marketing, the Transformational Sales Manager is the eyes, ears, strategy and winning game plan builder to help the sales team, see around corners! And prepare for what’s coming next.

That’s what a Transformational Sales Manager does!

That’s the type of Transformational Sales Manager you need on your winning sales team.

Yu can get more details on how to convert your Sales team into High Performance Sales Team from our Sales Performance Leadership page

The Transformational Sales Manager | Development Course

This leadership and training course is covered as part of our Fix and Flow 90 Days Sales Improvement Sprint -where we look specifically at creating High Performance Sales Functions using Sales Analytics and Performance Management to increase conversion rates, profitability, growth and low risk scale-ability.

For more specific details and to check availability contact Carol on 0779 002 1885

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