Sales managers have numerous responsibilities to their manager and for their sales team members. It always seemed that when I was in that position, I would juggle many balls on a daily basis. And of course, with every job, you’re not always excited about some of the responsibilities you have.
There is a difference between a sales leader and a sales manager.
Some people make excellent managers, and some make excellent leaders. To be successful, I believe you need to have both. Here’s the difference.
Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things.
There are both process and operational issues every day that leaders and managers have to handle. Sometimes rules need to be broken or a process needs to be circumvented. That’s where a leader might do something right for a customer, but it might be wrong or against the generally accepted rules for the organization. It comes down to a judgment call to do the right thing.
How should sales managers work? There are personal issues, administrative issues, performance reports for the salespeople, customer needs and calls, forecast reports including analyzing the team’s pipeline, new prospects to monitor, working with other departments like customer service, accounting, shipping, etc.
As a sales manager you need to manage each day with all these responsibilities and make sure on a weekly basis the tasks are done for the betterment of your sales team and the company. The goal is to exceed the budget that you’ve been assigned and also to ensure the growth and success of your salespeople. Whew! There’s a lot on the shoulders of the sales manager.
Being adaptable is a critical skill for the sales manager because their responsibilities need to be assessed on a daily basis.
Good sales managers ask, “What are the most important priorities for me today and this week?”