So, you are a new Sales Manager for your Company, trainees are starting to arrive, and the bills are going to roll in. Here’s your first daunting task: to make a team of people complete in what little time you have.

This is the toughest of the bunch, and it is all can be easily avoided. But like any new skills, applying them well is essential if you are to succeed in this position. So what are the ‘7 things’ you must do (honestly)?

  1. Understand the dynamics of the new role with new people. Stops you from having second thoughts and starts you off on the right path. You need to know what makes a leader tick and what drives him or her.
  2. Be very wary of departments (sales, marketing, human resources) they exist to support their region’s overall business and not your own company. They don’t care who you are in the first place.
  3. Meet your new people in groups, offering them more responsibility and a less structured experience to pass on. Ideally, have one person in from one department and one from another department. Have them meet as a team at the beginning of one week.
  4. If you look patchy they will get nervous and on edge. Be prepared with frequent breaks, don’t support their every move unless you are giving them time to do their legwork.
  5. Say little, when you do say something, only give them solving an action task or give direction but not directly on the full journey. Hold back on the critical skills if you want their success. Remember what you are doing is equal to them getting their first taste of success.
  6. Have them required to look at actual spreadsheets of the order or expenses as opposed to getting their heads around what is being done. Informative means you need to hit them straight away with your problem with numbers.
  7. Have them ‘walk the talk’. The results of this exercise will make them want to achieve your targets.

The other lessons to learn from this failure are to keep it simple. Don’t complicate any other exercises you do with them until they understand what managing people is all about. Give them the right tools to find solutions and always remain the messenger. If you can not communicate, you will have an uphill struggle to earn the respect and trust of your recruits. It’s a good idea to develop this communication ability early in your management role, if not the very beginning.

You will need to be a good communicator. However, if you lack this skill, you can learn it, it is rare to find people who have a natural ability to listen and talk to people. By learning this skill, you avoid a potentially fatal mistake the weak managers do.

They assume they can do it all. If you apply a simple management style to your new role, you can make a shortlist of managers in the industry.

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