One of the most important people in any office is arguably the sales manager. Often when you are a smaller business, the entrepreneur or CEO doubles as a sales manager, and this can get a company so far, but not all the way.
The traits of an exceptional sales manager

Breeding a sales mentality amongst your team is imperative to ensuring that you company leverages it's position and people to aquire more sales, more often.

In businesses such as ours, we have to constantly rethink our sales strategy and what role our inside sales team plays in the business as it is the nursery for future marketing executives as well as being our first port of call for sales.

Marketing Eye has an inbound sales platform, and as such, we have not ever had a sales manager. But times are changing and we are wanting to be more aggressive in our growth strategy. To remain an industry leader, we need scale. It allows for us to create a platform where clients do business with each other - and unfortunately, that's a numbers game. While other parts of our office focus on quality control, it's our sales performance that will ultimately give us the freedom to employ more people and constantly improve our service delivery.

6 traits an exceptional sales manager needs to have in order to create a high performance division: 
  1. Recruitment: Sales managers need to know how to recruit the right, high performing people for their team. They need to understand what it takes to  be good at sales and what psychological profiling of team members needs to be done.
  2. Process orientated: Sales is a process. There are few old school sales teams that have remained relevant. Relying on personal relationships is not something that is sustainable and often companies that have not evolved their sales model have found that smaller competitors have taken market share away from them. From first point of contact through to on-boarding a client, the process for sales needs automation - in a plug and play platform scenario.
  3. Professional development: Good sales managers know how to develop their sales team and get the most out of their people. They nurture, grow and develop people in a way that sees them flourish and achieve results that may have first been thought of as being unachievable. Nothing feels better than getting a sale.
  4. Forecasting: Forecasting, setting budgets and benchmarking achievements is all part of the sales managers role. Their ability to push the limits, yet make them achievable is paramount to keeping their sales team motivated.
  5. Creating a culture of discipline: It's hard to keep a disciplined approach to sales as most sales people don't have this skill. Instead the hunt for sales and then when they achieve it, they either get back on the bike and hunt for more or they have a cooling off period. What is important is that any good sales manager is able to motivate their team to focus on the discipline around the sales process so that they can sell more.
  6. Integrity: Staying true to the company's values is imperative. If you have dodgy sales people, then that becomes part of your brand. Never sell something to someone who doesn't see the value or doesn't need your product or service. 

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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