A Sales Manager is a Team Captain

A Sales Manager has many roles, including Team Captain.

View Wayne’s latest appearance on Strategic Selling Group where he explains why the team captain role is vital and how it needs to be conducted. It is great advice for sales managers old and new.

Sales Manager – The Team Selector

As a sales manager you’re not just the coach, but the team selector. You will be responsible to finding, hiring and inducting the right people into your sales team. This is always challenging and even the best sales managers cannot expect to get it right all the time.

“I’m not looking for the best players, I’m looking for the right players” – from the movie ‘Miracle’

To help find the right person for a sales team, you need to ensure you have the right factors lined up before starting the recruitment process:

  • The right position – is the role clearly defined and do you know the knowledge and skills required to be successful in the role? Can you communicate this effectively to the new team member?
  • The right time – for both for the candidate and the company. Will the role be appropriate for where the candidate is in their career? Can the company accommodate this new employee at this time?
  • The right things – do you have a clear understanding of how your new team member needs to apply their knowledge and skills to be successful? Will they?
  • The right ways – will the the new team member be able to perform at their highest level while remaining in alignment with the business’s core values and the team’s culture?
  • The right fit – will the the candidate demonstrate the right attitude, behaviour and communication styles to ‘fit’ with your team culture?

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Be a Sales Team Captain

As a sales manager you need to wear a lot of hats – you are a leader, a manager, a coach, a trainer, a translator of company messages and many other things. But one role I often see overlooked is that of team captain. I believe this is one of the most difficult areas of management in sales. The ability to be the captain of a team is not found books or courses but in skilfully relating to individuals – managing relationships and interactions ‘on the field’.

In sport the team captain must not be just a competent player, they need to inspire confidence, translate the game plan into action and make changes when necessary. The must make tactical decisions, communicate effectively and handle pressure. Read more