The 5 Best Practices of High-Performing Sales Managers

Businesswoman jumping from springboardDo you want to lead your teams to higher performance?  The key is to focus on the right stuff.

The best sales managers know they must:

  1. Hire the best and brightest. There is no substitute for building a team stacked with top talent. The best sales managers know the magical combination is: (1) High Drive – you can’t teach this. These people have an innate desire to win. (2) Results Orientation – the closers who are acutely focused on activities that get them to the finish line. (3) Problem Solving Skills – the solution-oriented folks who always find opportunities to move a situation forward. (4) Optimism – they expect to win, and they do. (5) Likeability. Others are drawn to them because they are genuine, confident and fun!
  2. Invest in training and development. With everyone. No matter how long they’ve been selling. Newbies need direction and support. Veterans can get complacent, bored, even rusty. Make certain that wherever you place them, they have the tools and know-how to be successful.  Even a veteran in a new neighborhood needs time to learn the new area, community and product, and he needs practice adapting to the new buyer profile.
  3. Master the skill of competitive community positioning. You can hire the best talent, but if you put them in a community where the pricing and positioning are wrong, they will never succeed. And you risk losing them. It’s the sales manager’s responsibility to ensure the community has the proper positioning and a compelling competitive advantage. The absolute best sales managers collaborate with the sales agent and division leadership to masterfully devise the positioning that sets everyone up for success.
  4. Create a motivating culture. It’s amazing what the best sales people accomplish when they feel their results are important and genuinely appreciated. Take time to share the significance of the business goals, and thank them when they’re achieved! Call them personally after a big week. Send a note to their home. Recognize them publicly. And connect with them as individuals. Learn their personal goals and purpose. Focus on helping them achieve their mission, and keep track of it. If they’re not on target, sit down with them and brainstorm the actions that will lead to their success. Maybe you agree to release a few new home sites. Your engagement shows you care. That’s a motivating coach.
  5. Always be coaching. There are teachable moments every day. The best sales managers spend time in the field, even with their stars. They listen. They catch them doing something right, and complement them. They don’t say “that was great, but…” Instead they say, “that was terrific because…” and share the impact of the behavior. This is especially beneficial when you observe them interacting with customers and you complement them on a specific skill that led to a positive result, like asking a compelling closing question. They will remember what they said and use it again, replicating the positive behavior that got results.

The best sales managers know that when they focus on the right stuff, everyone wins.

Kathy Tucker is a sales management consultant with New Homes Solutions and a member of the Tampa Bay Builders Association and its Sales & Marketing Council.

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  1. Kay Fisher says:

    I saw this article in my email this morning and reflected on how accurate it is now and when I began my career in real estate. After seeing who wrote the article, totally makes sense as Kathy Tucker was my first mentor! Now managing my own real estate team I appreciated seeing her great advice again:). Thanks KT!

    • Kathy Tucker says:

      Thank you, Kay! I appreciate your kind comments. I have enjoyed watching your success as you grow your business. I love this industry and am looking forward to continuing to mentor many more and watch their successes blossom as you have.

  2. Valuable advice for all managers. I particularly agree with your point regarding consistent coaching and would add that this is a two-way street. All staff can learn from each other and part of being an effective manager is to recognize your own potential for growth.

    • Kathy Tucker says:

      Thank you for your comment. I couldn’t agree more. I have seen that great leaders surround themselves with top talent and create a healthy learning organization so everyone challenges each other to keep learning. And everyone wins.

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