The Scalable Sales Manager: The Key to Unlocking Your Sales Teams’ True Potential
The role of Sales Manager has always been one of the hardest jobs in sales.
Tasked with recruiting and hiring, overseeing large teams, providing guidance and training, building culture, setting quotas, creating sales plans, analyzing data, forecasting, assigning territories… the list of responsibilities is as diverse as it is long. To say that sales managers have their work cut out for them would be a massive understatement.
As businesses today look for ways to improve their sales team’s performance, a lot of emphasis has been placed on finding tools that help increase the efficiency of their reps. With the assumption that sales is a numbers game, companies think that being able to increase the number of calls, demos and leads will invariably mean better sales. To a degree this strategy can help, but it misses a very crucial component of sales – improving effectiveness. This is where great sales managers come in.
Onboarding and Training Reps
Managing At (Impossible) Scale
The potential and promise of Artificial Intelligence has long been a debated topic, but in recent years we have started to see how AI can really impact the sales industry for the better.
This ranges from AI-powered Chatbots that can help increase real-time engagement with prospects to AI-powered conversational intelligence that can help reps understand how to have better conversations. An area less explored however is how AI can actually help scale sales managers.
In a traditional sales organization, sales managers have to listen in live on calls (when they even have time to listen at all) to be able to give feedback to their reps or help them address tricky questions from prospects like competitor differentiators or pricing discussions. The problem is, sales managers can only be on one call at a time. That was until AI came around.
Helping sales managers know when and where to focus their training efforts at ridiculous scale is one of the biggest promises of AI in today’s sales industry.
With the power of AI, sales calls can be recorded and automatically transcribed and analyzed for key insights that help improve sales reps and entire sales organizations. These AI-powered insights can also be plugged into training documents and onboarding materials that help managers train new reps faster by showing the techniques that actually move the needle.
Imagine a world in which every sales call had a manager listening in for guidance and feedback in real-time. With the rapid evolution of sales technology, and the growth of AI, this dream is becoming a reality for companies all over the world, and sales managers are reaping a lot of the benefit in their own roles.
An Up-To-Date CRM – No Longer a Pipe Dream
The Sales Manager of the Future
Secondly, sales managers can focus more of their time on making sure sales and marketing teams are truly aligned. By being able to work with marketing and customer success teams to better understand what customers are looking for and what campaigns are producing the best leads, sales managers can turn this level of insight into real dollars by routing highly targeted leads to the reps who are best trained to manage each type of inquiry. This highly targeted approach would have never been possible in the past when managers had to spend so much time focused on trying to make each rep better as a whole rather than being able to focus on individualized training that enables each rep to do what they do best.
Thirdly, sales managers of the future will begin to play a more prominent role in the high-level strategy of a company.
The role has always been uniquely positioned to understand and impact many levels of the revenue process, but day-to-day tasks have often made it difficult for them to impact results and ideas outside of the sales team.
As processes become more efficient, and sales teams become more effective with the increased usage of sales technology platforms, sales managers will be able to spend more time analyzing the insights gathered along each step of their sales funnel and help executive teams better understand where to allocate resources or how to develop product strategies.
The Power of Sales Managers
Howard Brown is the founder and CEO of ringDNA, where he fosters an innovative, fast-growing and collaborative culture. A three-time entrepreneur and former clinical psychologist, Howard’s thought leadership on sales, entrepreneurship and artificial intelligence has appeared on Bloomberg TV, FOX Businesses, Forbes, and Entrepreneur Magazine, and he is a frequent speaker at industry conferences such as Dreamforce and AWS Reinvent. Howard has been listed as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2019 by Goldman Sachs, and a top CEO according to Comparably.