Video Mystery Shopping Tip: Bridging the Gap between Sales and Management
As a new homes sales manager, did you realize that you are actually a bridge? You are the bridge between your sales team and the management team. At times this can be an incredibly difficult balancing act! On the one hand, you want to fight for your sales team tooth and nail. You want to defend them and protect them and make everything wonderful for them. Now, on the other hand, you are a part of senior management. You have to walk the corporate line. You are the ‘face’ of the company to your sales people. Whenever a new policy or procedure is implemented, it is your job to roll it out to the sales team and get their support and buy in, no matter what your thoughts about it are.
In a perfect world this would not be such a difficult task. But, we don’t live in a perfect world, do we? So, how do you as a sales manager obtain the support and trust of your sales team, while at the same time keeping the respect and trust of your management team? Things that make you go HUMMMM.
Well, for starters honesty it always your best policy. But, that doesn’t always get you over the bridge, here are a couple of tips on how to keep YOUR bridge open between management and sales.
- Maintain and establish a professional relationship with your sales people. Your first alliance is to the company. Your job is to grow and improve your sales team. You are their coach, not their best friend. Keep your relationship open, but always professional. Don’t cross that line.
- Never state anything negative about the company or management’s policies or procedures. It is not your job to state your opinion about what management has decided, it is your job to inform and explain these policies to your sales team and help them to achieve the goals set by the company.
- Don’t Run the Zone from the Throne. Get out there to find out what is really going on with your team in your sales offices. You are their leader and your job is to know what is happening in the field!
- Include management in your sales meetings. Let them have a chance to get to know the team. After all, you are all on the same team!
- You are the selected mouth piece for management to the sales team. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to *translate* the message in a language your sales team will understand and accept. You must be non-threatening and non-judgmental. As a sales manager, you now speak two languages, Sales and Management. Become fluent in both!
- Don’t gossip with the management team about any of your sales people. You are the leader of your team and if you don’t like something that is happening with your team, handle it. Or discuss it with the appropriate person in a professional manner.
- Build strong relationships with your management team. These are your peers. Some sale managers tend to get a ‘sales mentality’ with management. Realize that you are part of the senior management and that the team relies on your knowledge, expertise and input.
- If there are new policies and procedures that you know are not going to be popular with your sales team, enlist the support of management. Let’s say Accounting is changing the sales commission structure, ask your CFO to attend an upcoming sales meeting to better explain the changes and the company’s reasoning behind them. And allow the sales team to ask questions.
You are the bridge! That is an honor and a privilege! Don’t get stuck in the middle of the bridge. There is always a way on and off the bridge. It all starts with open and honest communication.