3 Tips for Managing Your Sales Team During A Slow-Down

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In the ebb and flow of business, there are busy times and slow-downs.  If you are currently in one of the busy times, trying to wrap up your fiscal year and close business, then one of the slow-downs may be right around the corner.

As a sales manager, you have a tough job, no matter what the circumstances.  According to an article in Modern Distribution Management, “A sales manager needs to be an accountant, a salesman, a therapist, a teacher, a leader, a motivator and a few others, and most of the time in the same conversation.”

Managing in busy times versus slow-downs comes down to the needs of the salespeople. If they aren’t being met, “the company will fail,” the article tells us. During slow periods, salespeople need to be assured of their job security, compensation package, and the company’s future.

Here are three tips for how to accomplish this:

1) Focus on your sales team, especially your top performers: When sales managers have their own customers to take care of, it can be difficult to manage the sales team. Staying focused on your team is critical to keeping them engaged and performing well.  Also, you should focus the most attention on your best salespeople, rather than the worst. Avoid spending the majority of your time with new or struggling salespeople, instead, invest time in those that are giving you return on that investment – your top performers.

2) Establish trust and instill confidence: Keep your sales people informed about how the company is doing.  Hold weekly or monthly staff meetings to discuss and share how things are going instead of calling for sales reports that you know aren’t where they need to be.

3) Be strategic and keep people motivated: If you are in a position where you need to make cutbacks to staff or compensation, make sure that your salespeople are experiencing more positives than negatives.  If compensation is reduced in one area, raise it in another.  The motivation of your salespeople is the lifeblood of your company, so stay positive!

When it comes to identifying who the top performing sales people are and having access to your team’s pipeline reports without constantly harping on them for information and damaging the trust and confidence you are trying to build, tools like a CRM system are indispensable.

An affordable CRM system can help your people track their sales opportunities and even identify new opportunities to cross-sell or up-sell to your existing customers.  It can also be a tremendous asset to you, as the sales manager, to gain visibility into your sales peoples’ daily activities and generate and analyze reports that will help you make decisions and provide guidance to your team.

Try Microsoft Dynamics CRM today and see how it can help your sales team ride-out a slow-down and keep you managing effectively.

By Socius, a CRM System provider in Ohio and Kansas (www.socius1.com)

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