Far too often, inside sales reps see their manager as the equivalent of a traffic cop hanging around waiting to hand out tickets. But this should virtually never be the case. As an inside sales manager, it shouldn’t be your job to inspire fear. Quotas exist so that salespeople know what is expected of them. And believe me, reps almost always know when they’re falling short of goals. They don’t want or need you to put extra pressure on them. Instead, your job should be to inspire your team and provide the coaching they need to meet (and hopefully exceed) those quotas.
You earned your position as manager. That probably means that you have some valuable insights that can help your reps crush quota. But I have news for you – if your reps don’t trust and respect you, they’re not going to heed your advice, no matter how valid it is. So step one of sales management: earn the trust and respect of your sales team.
Fortunately earning your team’s respect doesn’t have to be hard. Your reps just have to know that you’re part of their team and have their best interests at heart. We recently published a free eBook featuring some sales management tips from leading experts. Several of the sales leaders offered insight into how to build a sales culture based upon trust and loyalty.
“Extend trust. You cannot expect to be trusted if you don’t first extend it. So extend it. Your staff will value this and be more willing to follow
someone who trusts them. That is not to say extend trust blindly. Ask questions about how things are going with the area(s) in which you
extended trust. Ask questions instead of offering opinions to show you value what each team member is thinking.”
“Take the time to get to know your direct reports. Learn what motivates them and what their aspirations are. Motivation comes from within, so as a manager you cannot make someone be motivated. You can, however, create an environment in which they will thrive and thereby will be inspired to contribute their discretionary effort (i.e. the work people do that is above and beyond what’s expected of them). Once you have gotten to know your people, make sure you adjust your management style with each one of them. Everyone has different motivations, ideas, communication preferences and hot buttons. If you manage all of your people the same way, you will end up alienating at least a few of them, if not everybody.”
“Your teams are lot like children. You want them to do things the right way and with confidence. How do you do that? Get to know your team on a personal level. Know their personalities, selling styles, likes, dislikes, etc. Conversely, they should get to know you on a personal level too. It will allow the manager to instill a higher level of confidence in them. When things go wrong or they fail, they feel more comfortable in coming to the manager for help and guidance. The manager is not there to hold their hand, but to ensure their success and the team’s overall success. I call this approach “Wings & Roots.” Give them confidence for them to soar with their wings, but enough instruction and guidance to allow them to be firmly rooted in their role.”
“Begin to work to understand what “Servant Leadership” is. Most newly hired managers were most recently in an individual contributor role. They think mostly of themselves and their needs and their goals. The servant leader thinks mostly of their reps. To quote Robert K Greenleaf, “ sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and most difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?” If you can become a servant leader, your reps will trust you and respect you, which in turn will help you attract MORE high-quality reps, which will allow you to hit YOUR goals.”
Vice President of Inside Sales, ZipRecruiter
For more tips from these and 17 other sales experts, download our free eBook The 90 Day Inside Sales Success Plan!
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.