Replacing a Sales Manager: How to Ensure an Effortless Transition
Managerial transitions are rarely easy. Consistent and predictable processes are often the linchpins of a well-oiled sales team, and a change in management can upset the delicate ecosystem.
On the other end, a change in management can be a fantastic opportunity to review weaknesses in the sales process, to leverage new insights and update the way things are run. If you’re a sales manager walking into a new position, you have to walk a fine line: arrive with a plan but remain flexible to the unique way in which this team does things.
One thing is certain, though: you want to make the transition as smooth and effortless as possible. To that end, here are a few tips to keep in mind once the new contract is signed.
Find What Worked, What Didn’t
Easier said than done, right? However, it’s imperative as an incoming manager that you try to objectively look at your new team’s processes to keep what’s working and retool what isn’t. This starts with one-on-one conversations with each team member, which you can then transition to a team-wide meeting. Assuming there are things that didn’t work (there almost certainly were) the team will be excited at the chance to improve. To ensure the changes are working, and to gain better insight into the team’s existing processes, use sales and lead tracking software to monitor performance.
Implement a New Platform
Now is your chance to modernize. While the excitement around change is still in the air, capitalize on your opportunity to introduce a new platform. Consider augmenting your current CRM by deploying a sales engagement platform that can automate workflow and prioritize your reps’ queues. A common inefficiency in sales teams is a scatter-shot approach to prospecting; develop a sales cadence and automate with software. Consider your entrance a way to lift the team into the 21st Century.
Tailor Your Managerial Techniques
You can’t simply export your managerial style to a new environment and expect everything to be gangbuster. Presumably, you had a tried and successful way of doing things in your last position; otherwise, you would not have landed this job. But the mark of a great manager is staying flexible. No two teams are alike, and this one may require you tweak your techniques for the best results.
Consider the Top-Down Approach
Get the account executives and high performers in your corner. Loop them into your thinking by showing them clear, realistic goals and an equally clear path to those goals. From there, hopefully, the entire team will follow.
Embolden Your Junior Reps
Junior reps, like your sales development representatives, are going to be the incoming generation of high earners. If they weren’t aware of that before, make them understand that, and do what you can to embolden them. Through one-on-one mentorship; consistent, constructive criticism; and positive reinforcement, you can strengthen every part of your sales funnel – not just the bottom.
It takes some time for a team to readjust to new management, but with strong ideas and level-headed leadership, that readjustment period can be smooth and purposeful.