Home » Business » 5 Steps To Becoming A Better Sales Director

5 Steps To Becoming A Better Sales Director

Sales directors have to assume a multitude of roles. They have to seek out new sales opportunities, represent their company in the best possible light as well as develop strategies and plans for future growth. On top of that, they constantly need to coach and motivate their team to hit their sales targets within the given deadline.

Here are some key areas of focus in order to juggle your multiple leadership responsibilities:

1. Re-think of your strategy

Sales management is fundamentally about planning. Although most sales directors have a strategy in place, they often fail to connect it to changing business’s targets and/or customers’ needs. Add some flexibility to your planning by holding regular meetings. Just make sure that those are perceived as valuable opportunities to raise issues and concerns as opposed to a waste of everyone’s time. Training clinics, when conducted well, can also create a great climate for continuous learning and development, so don’t shy away from them.

2. Create useful success metrics

Most sales leadership jobs demand the use of metrics such as revenue and profit contribution that indicate results that have been achieved. An equally important but neglected side of the metric scale are the measures that indicate progress toward those goals. Metrics such as successful sales calls and implementation planning meetings are vital to sales success. Instead of aiming only at reporting results, try to achieve a balance between backward-looking and forward-looking indicators.

3. Help you team understand the customer’s perspective

When your salespeople focus more on their sales process rather than on the customer’s buying process it is probably because they have no idea how customers buy. According to Kevin Davis, President of Topline Leadership, syncing out with the customer can affect adversely sales effectiveness; it means that your team is not able to spot enough opportunities. Check that your salespeople not only have a sound understanding of the clients’ market but also of the risks and challenges those clients face. This insight will help your clients perceive you and your team as trusted advisers, giving you an advantage over competition.

4. When coaching ask questions

A startling number of sales managers think that coaching is all about telling team members what they need to do. Most of the times, their guidance consists of “recipes” that have worked for them in the past, failing to realise that a successful individual contributor is not necessarily a successful coach too. Effective talent development comes from asking as much as telling. Since most coaching conversations are deal focused, it is all about the ability of the manager to weave in the development of the sales representative and provide constructive feedback that will build sales capability across the sales team.

5. Work proactively

First-class leaders do not wait for a business meltdown to make tough decisions and strategic planning. They work proactively and cross-functionally to improve internal systems but also to meet the needs of their customers. This proactive versus reactive mentality, in combination with a wider business perspective, can do miracles for your business.

Katerina Kardamaki is a Marketing Executive and an avid blogger. She writes articles for Exec appointments about Sales Director jobs based on her experience in Recruitment.