10 Goals To Develop Yourself and Your Team as a Sales Manager
Goals can help a sales team perform well at their current levels and develop new skills for future success. As a sales manager, you may be responsible for setting collective goals for your team, like contacts and converted leads, but setting additional goals for yourself can help you develop skills that support those sales numbers. Learning about types of goals you can set can help you determine how to help your team grow. In this article, we discuss some benefits of setting goals as a sales manager and 10 goals to consider for yourself and your team.
Why should sales managers make goals?
Sales managers can set their own goals to help themselves improve professionally and to strategically encourage team members. Since sales managers often have a wide variety of duties, from hiring and managing personnel to tracking metrics on sales performance, goals can be a useful tool for focusing on specific areas that need improvement. Goals can also help sales managers develop as leaders, since they provide practice in management skills like planning projects, tracking progress and evaluating effectiveness.
Here are some benefits you may see after setting goals as a sales manager:
- More productive sales representatives
- Better relationships with team members
- More skilled team
- Progress toward organization-wide goals
- Better communication inside and outside the team
- More effective training process
- Happier and more satisfied coworkers
10 goals for sales managers
Here are some goals that sales leaders might set to help themselves grow and to encourage their teams to improve:
1. Improve sales process efficiency
This goal is appropriate for sales managers since the position provides perspective on how the current sales process works for the team. A sales manager can take the data from their team and evaluate where there are bottlenecks or obstacles. As a manager, they have more voice and power to create systemic change to solve these problems for their teams.
2. Improve individual mentorship
Aiming to improve mentorship of each team member can help a sales manager develop leadership skills and encourage individuals as well. To meet this goal, you might dedicate more time to individual conversations, pass on valuable resources and help team members earn promotions and apply for higher positions in the company.
3. Provide more training and education opportunities for the team
As a manager, you can work to improve your team’s performance by helping them learn new skills and information. You might do this by helping people attend conferences or seminars or by scheduling experts to speak with your team. If your company provides tuition assistance, you could ask someone from human resources to explain this policy and offer flexible scheduling for employees to attend class.
4. Incorporate long-term perspective
Sales managers are responsible for interpreting the company’s long-term goals and plans for practical implementation. A manager might separate the goals into smaller segments or develop a plan for how each part of a company’s mission statement could impact the sales department. Longer-term goals can help sales representatives think beyond quotas, recognize slow progress and prevent burnout. This goal can also help sales managers give more coherent reports to their own supervisors and executives during annual reviews.
5. Improve communication skills
Communication is an important skill for any leader, and it’s relevant throughout the sales process, so it can be especially valuable for sales managers. If you can identify and improve specific communication skills, you can save time and communicate more efficiently and effectively with your team.
6. Build better team partnerships
You can increase company efficiency by building stronger relationships with other teams, whether they’re within the sales department or other departments like marketing or IT that you work with regularly. You might do this by finding a more efficient channel for communication, improving report formats or even planning a social event.
7. Improve data application
Most sales teams gather extensive information on how their individual representatives perform, from how long it takes a representative to respond to a lead to their personal win rates and revenue generated. While all of this information can be interesting, it’s important to have a strategy to interpret this data, decide which metrics are key performance indicators and generate truly useful reports. A sales manager can regularly evaluate how they record and use this data to help their team be as effective as possible.
8. Improve training programs
A sales manager’s role in onboarding new representatives or other employees often includes overseeing the training process, so this can be a useful area to improve. A manager might start by evaluating the current training process, considering how well recent trainees have adapted to the company and collecting feedback on onboarding experiences. Places where new hires struggle can be opportunities to strengthen the training program. Even reviewing onboarding materials can help you make sure everything is accurate with current business practices.
9. Motivate team members
Finding new ways to motivate team members can help employees be more productive, but it can also help people be more excited to come to work. This might include finding a new reward system for sales success, or it could include providing more benefits for each employee, like more comfortable offices, the ability to work remotely or a regular and predictable raise structure.
10. Provide better feedback
To encourage team members, it’s important that you communicate feedback in a way they can understand that provides steps they can take to improve their work. If you decide to set the goal of providing better feedback, you might learn about how to communicate with different types of people, or evaluate your past successes to understand what has worked in the past for individual team members. You might also incorporate more active listening into your feedback process.
Tips for implementing goals as a sales leader
Here are some tips for using goals to achieve the most effective results:
Set an example
As a leader, it’s important that you only ask others to do things you’re also willing to do. If you start a team initiative, make sure you also participate. If you’re asking others for their time or energy, remember to contribute some yourself.
Set measurable goals
To understand whether you’re meeting your goals, you might use a goal framework like SMART to structure your implementation and measure your results. These goal frameworks usually involve outlining your goal thoroughly and setting measurable indicators. Indicators that can measure achievement specifically, like hours saved or specific events completed, can be easier to track than more subjective results.
Set realistic goals
Setting goals with your team’s capacity in mind can lead to increased success. It’s important to balance your aspirations for your team with a knowledge of how they currently perform. Realistic goals feel more accessible to team members and still encourage people to put in slightly more effort to reach results beyond current levels.
Make sure to follow through on your goals by checking your progress regularly. You may be able to do this simply if your goal is very specific, like scheduling a certain training or reviewing your training materials annually. You might also use data collected by your customer relationship management software or lead management software to track your own and your team’s sales performance overall.