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Tips to Manage a Successful Sales Team

January 12, 2012
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/222599

How to Manage a Successful Sales TeamWant to boost your business? It's time to set your salespeople free.

As economic times become more uncertain, companies are increasingly seeking to boost their sales operations to try to capture more market share. But properly running a successful sales department requires a special touch and technique.

As a consultant, I've spent years studying the behavior of successful salespeople. In many cases, high-performing salespeople have strong personalities. They're the types of people described as social and verbally aggressive. They're optimistic, good persuaders, visionaries of the big picture, people-oriented, and team-oriented.

Great salespeople also tend to be into solving problems and driving for results. They're positive in their attitude, powerful and authoritative.
The traits that make them so great at sales also can lead to traits that present difficulties for managers. They can be impulsive, demanding and unrealistic in their expectations. They may lack attention to detail and are often disorganized.

Related: Seven Steps to Coaching Your Employees to Success

If you are more methodical, analytical or process oriented, you may get easily frustrated running a sales department. But those who are good at running a sales department learn how to manage around these issues.

There are certain styles of management that I've often found are a good fit for sales departments. Here are four tips for managing successful sales pros.

If you adapt your management style to meet their needs, and understand the behaviors needed to do it, you'll have a lot fewer headaches. And your salespeople will thrive.

This article is an adapted excerpt from The Perfect Hire: A Tactical Guide to Hiring, Developing and Retaining Top Talent by Katherine Graham-Leviss published by Entrepreneur Press, 2011.

Related: Seven Steps to Superstar Employees