Taking a step into management is a big career move and involves more than just accepting a new title and pay rise. You will have bigger responsibilities and much higher expectations. In this article, we will review the five skills that you might need to master before moving up the career ladder to a management position.
Five Skills to Master Before Moving from Sales to Management
The art of good, effective delegation needs to be learned by all sales members that want to progress to management. Delegation is where you give tasks or jobs to members of your team and provide advice on how to succeed with those tasks. You should ensure that they understand the task and give them a deadline by which it must be done.
Be careful not to micromanage your team though. Nothing can make a team member feel undermined or not good enough quicker than a boss who sits over them watching their every move.
“If you are delegating to a team, make sure that you clarify the roles of each team member and trust that all of them will finish their tasks,” says Eddie Adams, a data manager at 1day2write and NextCoursework.
“Answer any questions and be clear about expectations from the start. Make sure that you make a note in your diary to check in around the deadline to confirm that the work has been finished.”
2. Managing Projects
All managers will be required to project management at some point and it is a vital skill for new managers to learn. This skill depends upon whether you can navigate the project, see the vision for the outcome and be positive and proactive in the pursuit of it. Firstly, you should be clear on what is being asked of you and how quickly it needs to be achieved. Without this information, you will not be able to deliver the project successfully.
3. Changing Relationships
It is only natural as you move up the ladder into a management position that the relationships with the team and other staff members will change. That is not necessarily a negative thing.
Relationships are important in business and those relationships do shift when one party is promoted, so this needs to be navigated carefully. When transitioning into a management position, you should sit down with each member of the team and have a frank and honest conversation about how the relationship will operate going forward. Make sure that you address any concerns that they have.
4. Team Motivation
Motivation is a crucial skill for any manager as it is how they will boost their employees’ energy when morale is low.
“You need to know what gets your team excited and willing to go the extra mile on an idea or project. The ability to trigger another person’s strengths means that you are ready to take the step up to management.”
“This means you will have to know how to get others excited about an idea or project — enough so they want to take action on their own.” Being able to access and activate others’ strength means you’re ready to manage a team.
5. Fostering Communication Skills
We all know that managers should have excellent communication skills, but it is also vital that your team members have them as well. Managers should, therefore, be skilled in teaching communication skills to their staff.
It is common for companies to hire staff members that have the incredible technical knowledge, but lack social skills. A great manager will work with those team members to improve for the individual and the company.
Communication is one area that most companies could do with improving and it is a fundamental skill for all salespeople. Whilst many parts of the process can be outsourced or automated, conversations and relationship building cannot be.
Empathy is a skill that turns a good salesman into a fantastic one as it allows you to tune into the needs of your customers and anticipate their reactions. Empathic managers can help to build better relationships by truly understanding their pains.
The key to fostering empathy is to listen with an objective ear. Put the prospect or team member first before yourself and the company. This will help you to identify what the person wants before even they know it, and you will be able to guide them to the solution with ease.
Becoming a sales manager is always a challenge. It requires lots of hard work from one's side. So, to make a smoother transition from a sales rep to a leadership role be sure to invest enough time in fostering your skillset. Remember: high performers are those who never stop learning!