We all have read plenty of articles and tips to become a successful sales development rep (SDR). But what about the people managing those SDRs? As it is, being a sales manager is not an easy job but, it can be rewarding. You can be in any domain of the sales career – inside sales, on-field, etc., all of them have their own set of challenges. As the year is coming to a close, let us look at some of the challenges that the sales managers face and how to overcome them in the new year.
Being a sales manager, this is one of the most important responsibility. Sometimes, it can be difficult to execute, but as a manager, one can’t afford to neglect it. The idea is not to tell your reps what to do. A good coach is the one who empowers her/his team to tackle the challenges and work through their individual problems to achieve the goal. The managers need to understand, meeting the targets (the end result) is important, but the process to reach those goals is equally important, if not more. Developing and honing the skills of the SDRs is the manager’s duty, which they can’t and shouldn’t run away from.
#2. Managing the Time
It can be very easy to get overwhelmed in such a fast-paced and dynamic role. But, you can’t lose sight of your SDRs. It is important to schedule one-on-ones and group meeting with all your SDRs to track their productivity and aligning them to the organizational goals. These meetings will also help in gathering individual feedback. This activity needs to be done on a regular basis and should not just be an annual thing.
#3. Uniform Approach
Sometimes, you might want to favor certain SDRs based on your personal equation with them. Or, you might want to keep a blind-eye towards your top-selling SDRs. Letting them go about doing things their way. But, this cannot happen. As a manager, you are supposed to maintain consistency. You can’t go about discriminating. This inconsistency will cost in the long run. It might turn the reps against you and hamper the overall team morale along with disrupting the organizational culture.
#4. Motivating the Reps
The inside sales job can seem mundane at times. Your SDRs might lose interest or at times feel demotivated when not able to close leads. Here, the sales manager comes into the picture. Care should be taken to recognize that one style does not fit everyone. Some people are intrinsically motivated while others need an incentive. For instance, praise might work for a rep and other’s productivity might increase with incentives. Going back to the point of scheduling meetings with the reps, these meetings will be an effective platform to know what works for your team and what doesn’t.
#5. Aligning Sales with Marketing
Sales and Marketing alignment is pivotal to the success of a company. This might not be so simple but, is essential. If there is coordination between these two, then you can expect the quality of leads to improve substantially. Just like with SDRs, have regular meetings with the marketing team to make sure there is a consensus about how to go about the process and lead management. Also, there should be a clarity on the roles and accountabilities to avoid overstepping and interference in each other’s task. A healthy relationship between these two teams will go a long way in making the company a successful brand.
#6. Exploiting the Power of Data
Using the right technology tools is the need of the hour. It is imperative to deploy the right technology. You don’t want to be drowning in data, making no sense of it when your team is waiting for an answer. Similarly, if not used well, the same data can create havoc. Thus, the best idea is to use tools which help in organizing, monitoring and reporting along with analyzing for you to share with the team.
Inside sales can be one of the most challenging positions. A sales manager has to wear many hats. They are the bridge between the top management, SDRs and other departments in the organization. With the right attitude and technology, inside sales manager has the potential to generate amazing results. The sales manager’s job is not just to achieve the targets, but build a cohesive team also. With not many days left in this year, it’s time the sales managers resolve to step into the new year with a new zeal to not just overcome the challenges but smash them.