While the exact list depends on who you ask, the following (alphabetized) traits are all critical for a sales manager:
Able to coach, analytical, available, confident, empathetic, good listener, innovative, leads by example, loyal, motivating, passionate, positive attitude, serves vs. dictates, strategic vision, strong communicator, and thoughtful.
However, checking off most (or all!) of the above characteristics does not guarantee you will be a rockstar sales manager. Sometimes we all need a bit of technology, some software (MORE software … sales management software), in our lives to take sales management to the next level.
MORE software? What? I feel like our tech stack is already exploding, out of control!
I hear you. I see you. Allow me to explain.
Why Sales Managers Need More Software
Reason #1: Your buyers have changed
This Entrepreneur article titled, Want to Close 10x More Deals? Have More In-Person Meetings is 100% spot on.
The only problem? It was published in early 2018.
It’s now 2022. Times — and the world — have changed dramatically. While in-person meetings certainly can be important to close deals, especially bigger ones, they are not the end-all-be-all answer.
More and more big deals are closing without in-person meetings.
As the remote technology options have grown — and become easier to use for all, become more ubiquitous, and so on — there is less of a reason to jump in your car or hop on a train or plane to visit a future customer.
You must meet your customer where they are. Often, that is via webconferencing. And often, it’s captured via call recording software.
Reason #2: Your team has changed
Back in the day (see: pre-2018 for some, even early for others), we used to meet in person exclusively.
WFH (Work From Home) was not even an acronym until recently.
As PCs (Personal Computers!) began making their way into more homes and the Internet (World Wide Web!) accessibility (think Ethernet to WIFI) grew, the concept of telework or mobile work or distance work or working from home became more of a commonality.
This shift, especially over the past few years, has meant sales teams (and sales managers) have also had to pivot.
Onboarding and training: Remote.
Sales stand-up meetings: Remote.
To complicate things a touch more, “remote” is now morphing into “hybrid” — some in person, some at home, some on the beach pretending to be at home. You know.
The opportunity for “drive-by” coaching on the sales floor is quickly becoming a relic of the past.
Reason #3: Expectations are still the same
Yet even with buyers changing and your team changing, expectations are still the same (or growing!).
Sales quota generally doesn’t decrease. Revenue goals continue to rise. Team productivity is more important than ever. And accurate reporting becomes the differentiators between “the best and the rest” sales managers.
All of the above equates to an ever-growing and ever-important need for more sales managers and sales training software!
The 20202 Sales Manager Software Stack
When considering what your sales manager software stack looks like, start with your CRM — the backbone, the foundation to any robust tech stack.
Nothing happens until you have a solid CRM in place, configured to your specific business (sales and marketing) needs.
No matter which provider you choose, you must select one and ensure everyone on the team is trained up on best practices.
Once you have your CRM locked in…
Next up: Sales Forecasting Software
Let’s be honest, sales forecasting is often hit or miss — based on gut, best assumptions, and other voodoo magic. Moreover, it’s often chock full of labor-intensive, time-consuming tasks.
Errors happen. Miscommunication and misunderstandings are commonplace.
That all ends with sound sales forecasting software.
Assumptions be gone. It’s time to rely on the absolute best, most reliable data on “the market” — from the mouths of your customers!
Gong’s AI does the work — powerful search filters that access and create data not readily available from other tools. Data that is searchable, digestible, and (super important) always up to date.
A few other reasons you need (Gong’s) sales forecasting software:
- Gong pulls in data from every prospect and customer point of contact (phone, email, video) automatically surface deal insights necessary to make informed business decisions.
- Gong helps uncover deal risk at all stages of the sales funnel. Was budget never discussed? Did the decision-maker never get engaged? We’ll find that data and tell you what needs to get fixed to move closer to a closed/won.
- Gong enhances your pipeline review process. Before the meeting, the data and reports (and actionable insights) are available to all, including sales managers. This allows those 1-on-1s to be all about strategy.
Want more? Check out the Gong Sales Forecast Template For Sales Managers (Excel)
Then: Sales Tracking Software
You may not want to admit it, but you are losing winnable deals.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s true.
Sales tracking software (cough cough, like Gong) allows you and your team to see every detail in your pipeline — every touchpoint and insight across the entire sales organization.
We expose the complex data necessary to assess both individual and team performance. No guesswork. No opinions. Just the facts.
Sales tracking software means sales managers can quickly audit deals to visualize what’s happening in the entire pipeline or broken down by individual sales rep. This leads to hyper-individualized coaching (more on coaching in the next section).
And don’t forget how sales tracking software enables teams to hear the (authentic) voice of the customer. Get unfiltered feedback from the market, see what messaging is hitting (or missing) the mark, and help reps tailor their pitch to match what customers want.
Don’t believe us? Listen to our raving fans — sales managers and reps who have realized the full potential of sales tracking software.
Finally: Sales Coaching Software
As we previewed in the previous section, the gold standard for coaching is when you, as a sales manager, can get to hyper-individualized, uber-personalized coaching. When this happens, your chances of having truly strategic conversations — chats that move the needle — increase dramatically.
Gong’s sales coaching software helps with all of the above.
Gong coaching (aka Gong for Teams) is not just for sales organizations. Our software helps drive better alignment amongst teams, functions, the enterprise.
Clarity. Scalability. Accountability
Gong helps managers peel back the onion to see the coaching opportunities that will help translate to positive deal movement.
Gong helps managers assess sales readiness and train new hires faster.
Gong helps managers stay accountable for consistent coaching across the entire team.
Revenue Intelligence Does It All
You could buy sales forecasting AND sales tracking AND sales coaching software. Jam them all together, hope they play nicely, and move on with your day.
That tactic may work.
You could just buy Gong’s Revenue Intelligence platform. One. Done.
Curious about Revenue Intelligence? Learn more here about what is revenue intelligence.