How to Get Your Sales Team to Manage Itself

There are never enough hours in the day as a sales manager. You have a million responsibilities – from planning strategy to hiring new sales reps to managing your pipeline – all while always keeping an eye on the sales goal line. If only your sales team could start to manage itself – you could set it and forget it!

Your sales team unfortunately will never be 100% self-sufficient, but you can make your life easier by allowing the team to work with less intervention and guidance from you day to day. With the right training and coaching, it is possible for the machinery of your sales team to run smoothly, with less supervision.

Here are a few simple ways to get your sales team to (practically) manage itself so you can take yourself out of the trenches and focus on the big picture.

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Create Team Leaders

If you personally answered every question your reps have, you’d never accomplish anything else. But you also don’t want to leave new sales reps with nowhere to turn for advice at critical moments during the sales process. Instead of trying to manage it all alone, it’s time to delegate. Select the most experienced sales reps on your team and promote a few to team leaders. This way, when you’re in a meeting with the VP of Sales or interviewing a new sales candidate, team leaders can step up to help manage other reps. The team leaders will appreciate that you trust them, and you’ll be assured that the sales team is working smoothly even when you’re busy elsewhere.

Don’t Skimp on Training

When you hire new sales reps, it means that your business needs them to start bringing in new business and closing deals. Though it may be tempting to speed up the training process and get them fully ramped up to work more quickly, training shortcuts will hurt their development and selling abilities in the long run. Though it takes valuable time, you should create an in-depth and comprehensive sales training program for all of your new reps, no matter how experienced. This program should cover everything your reps need to know and you should constantly update the training process as you find new best practices.

Emphasize Personal Responsibility

Each rep on your team should not only know and understand their personal sales goals for each quarter, they should also be held responsible for specific sales metrics each day, week and month. You should start tracking activity levels – like calls made per day, connects per week, or meetings booked. By doing this, you will push reps to take personal responsibility for their performance metrics so you won’t have to micromanage your team day to day. Instead, reps will push themselves to reach both short-term and long-term goals, because they’re aware of their progress every day.

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Write a Solid Sales Playbook

While it make take you some serious time and effort upfront to create, a detailed and extensive sales playbook will save you tons of time long-term. A great sales playbook is a constant reference manual for sales reps, especially when they’re first starting out. It includes everything from talk tracks to buyer personas to pricing and CRM guidelines – many of the things your reps constantly ask you about now. Instead of turning to you for answers or getting on a call unprepared, they can reference the playbook and follow your sales guidelines.

Offer Ongoing Coaching

Rather than coaching reps occasionally and inconsistently when you have time, schedule weekly or monthly strategic sales coaching sessions where each of your reps can ask for help and work on improving specific sales tactics. If you notice a rep needs to work on a specific skill, you can really focus on it during your next one-on-one coaching session. You can also do larger, group coaching session on more general topics that will help the entire team. This allows you prioritize your time and your rep’s time so that coaching is more useful, focused and targeted to their needs.

While it can be hard as a sales manager to take a step back and delegate responsibility, you really can’t do everything yourself. By having reps take personal responsibility, prioritizing training and coaching and creating team leaders, you’ll be able to work more and manage less.

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