From hundreds of salespeople and sales managers. The writer (Robert J. Calvin, Demystified, Sales managers) Conclude:
1. The best sales managers have what I like to call the “will to manage.” They are willing to set standards, be critical, and sit in judgment. Since most sales managers were promoted because of their records as salespeople, it is not easy for them to set standards, be critical, and sit in judgment of their peers, even at a different employer. These sales managers need to make the transition from being a salesperson’s friend to just being friendly.
2. The best sales managers realize they are agents of change, so they are manage change even when it includes changing people’s behavior. Rapidly changing competitors, products, technologies, markets, and customers make business a dynamic environment in which the future is a fast-moving target. Sales mangers are at the vortex of these changes. The best sales managers may not like change, but they realize that managing change is part of their job. The not-so-best managers constantly complain about change and handle it poorly.
Similarly, the best sales managers don’t whine about their weak sales people. Instead, they work to change their salespeople’s behavior through nonmonetary motivation.
3. In addition, the best sales managers believe in what they are doing-the company, product and job – which creates strong personal motivation for them, which they pass on the salespeople and customers.
4. The best managers also delegate, set goals and plan well
5. The best sales managers can communicate well not only with customers and supervisors, but also with peers and the sales people, and they have excellent communication skills with customers, but few communicate well with the salespeople who report to them. For the latter group to make the transition skills to communicate effectively with those who work for and with them.
6. The ability to execute and implement the sales management process, strategies and tactics separates the best sales managers from the not so best. Many sales managers could write individual chapters for this book (Demistified, Sales Management) but few could implement and execute all the tactics, strategies, processes and methodologies in it.
7. The best sales managers can effectively manage both rookie and veteran salespeople, as well as those older and younger than they are. They can understand the distinct needs, goals, and problems of the individuals within these diverse groups.
8. The best sales managers train or terminate weak performers; they do not try to do their job or put up with mediocre results. If a salesperson underperforms, the best managers will create a development program to improve performance. If after sufficient time, performance does not improve, the weak salesperson will be replaced.