How to Hire a Sales Manager
by Bill Radin
There’s more to the
job of “Sales Manager” than meets the eye. And if you hire the
wrong person, you’ll waste a lot of time and money.
By focusing on key
aspects of the role, you’ll more accurately identify the most
suitable candidates. Here are four of the most important
Cash flow. If paying bills is an immediate concern, it
might make sense to hire someone who can bring a “book” of
business or leverage an existing customer base to boost
near-term sales revenues. An experienced manager will also
look for ways to cut costs, collect on receivables or adjust
Next, consider your
Sales channels. Do you sell directly to your customers,
or through third parties, such as manufacturers’ reps or
distributors? A manager with experience in various types of
channels should be able to spot inefficiencies in your current
model and capitalize on new opportunities.
consideration: Customers. Is your company responsive to
customer inquiries? Do you provide support, service and
delivery in a superior manner? If not, you’ll need a more
customer-centric manager to correct these deficiencies.
Perhaps your CRM needs an overhaul. A robust lead-generation
and tracking system not only puts money in your pocket, it
keeps your customers in the loop.
Leadership. Think of your sales force as an army. If it’s
well-trained, well-equipped and highly motivated, you’ll be in
a stronger position to win the battle of market share. A
strong leader will demonstrate a willingness to do the tough
jobs, get his or her hands dirty and make difficult choices.
In addition, an
exemplary leader will:
calls at the local level with regional managers;
re-assign underperforming reps, distributors or direct
make purchases with creative financing options;
training and professional development;
comments on product quality or ideas for improvement to
the engineering, manufacturing or marketing staff.
sales manager is
expected to bring a high level of intensity to the job that
will “turn up the heat” and rally a sluggish team. Weak
managers allow poor morale and negativity to act as a cancer,
while strong leaders make
certain the negativity is surgically removed.
By seeking these
qualities in a candidate, you’ll be one step ahead in your quest for the
perfect sales manager.