Proactive sales managers do their best to keep problems from flaring up. The reactive manager is constantly battling the flames, which means the sales staff is likely not getting the expert coaching they need to succeed. Instead, the manager is fixing problems and neglecting opportunities to lead.Sales managers who put their goals and plans in writing for the sales force to see is among the most basic sales tactic that many managers fail to execute. When the goals are spelled out, it's easier to achieve buy-in from the sales force. It's all part of establishing a clear vision, which is important in achieving buy-in.While it's vitally important for the managers to be 100 percent accountable, they also need to hold the team accountable. This involves empowering the sales force rather than hovering over them and micro managing. The sales force doesn't need a nanny; they need a leader who establishes the blueprint for success.Leadership is better established when the manager has the information they need to make better decisions. The manager can gain these vital pieces of information by tracking what happens from day to day. Every success and every failure deserves documentation, not only to help the individual sales reps, but for use in future training.Proactive sales managers never stop learning, neither do the sales reps. The playing field changes quite frequently, which means there is always a new opportunity for learning and training. A sales manager that only relies on what they already know is not an effective manager. When the bulk of a sales manager's time is spent training the sales staff, they better be armed with new information that can steer the team in the right direction.
Long-term goals are often outlined quite clearly in the mission statement. However, fresh goals should be drawn up on a weekly basis to help motivate the sales force. Some sales managers will draft weekly, monthly and quarterly goals with strategies attached to them.Sales reps need frequent reviews to keep them on top of their game. Performance reviews shouldn't be used to badger the reps, rather, it should be a process where insights are gained and hard data is used to draw conclusions.One of the best ways to establish information and hard data is to use reporting tools found in customer relationship management solutions. Companies like Front Row Solutions are offering CRM solutions that include reporting tools that allow sales reps to enter information about their sales calls in a matter of seconds. Sales managers can use this data in their performance reviews.There are a number of strategies sales managers rely on to effectively lead their teams, but without the right tools, it can be a daunting task.