From start to finish, a day in the life of a sales manager is a mix of routine, process fulfillment, data analysis, accountability checks, and coaching. Although their directive — to get more sales — is simple, to be successful at their jobs, sales managers must balance selling with customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and productivity improvement every day.
As a sales rep, your sole focus is hitting (or exceeding) your quota, and your biggest motivation is often your quarterly bonus. When a salesperson graduates into a managerial role, suddenly they have to think beyond their individual performance and work to boost their team’s overall metrics.
For a glimpse into a day in the life of a sales manager, read onward.
How Sales Managers Start Their Day
Aside from a morning dose of caffeine, most sales managers start their day by logging into their computer to check four things.
- Their team’s scheduled sales calls for that day. This provides managers with insight into the sales opportunities currently in their team’s pipeline. As needed, they can provide pre-call coaching, support on larger contracts, and assistance with more complex sales.
- Their own meetings calendar. To mentally prepare for the day and plan projects in between appointments, sales managers should take stock of their calendar. That way they know when they can start, stop, and resume different tasks. The best sales managers also leave room for spontaneity as new opportunities arise, allowing them to take a more agile approach to sales and staff management.
- Their inboxes. A high priority will be to respond via email and phone calls to any inbound customer inquiries as well as ongoing client discussions. After all, clients tend to favour reps who are the most responsive and prioritize service over sales. Then sales managers can address administrative tasks or snooze them for later in the day.
- Their news feed. It is important that sales managers stay in tune with internal company memos, competitor and industry news, and customer updates. That way, managers can summarize the highlights, along with customer-facing talking points, so their reps are prepared for conversations they have throughout the day. This minimizes the risk that salespeople will walk into meetings not knowing a competitor changed prices or launched a new offering.
Of course, before the frenzy of the day takes over, sales managers also work to tackle any urgent items that may have come up overnight.
Recurring Responsibilities for Sales Managers
Throughout the day, sales managers are responsible for a variety of tasks. Beyond maintaining their own book of clients, they play a critical role in the success and development of their sales reps by supporting project fulfillment, monitoring the competitive landscape, and analyzing overall performance metrics.
Generally, the daily responsibilities of a sales manager can be broken up into six categories, which are listed below, along with related items that they are expected to complete throughout the day. Keep in mind that this is only a peek into a day in the life of a sales manager — it is not, by any means, an exhaustive list.
1. Administrative Duties
- A sales manager coordinates with other departments to determine current fulfillment or implementation schedules, pricing, and more. They deliver the news to sales reps when there are product delays, inventory shortages, or changes to the cost structure. When there are new product developments and offerings, they share that information with excitement to demonstrate more of the company’s competitive advantages.
- The manager hires and onboards new sales reps. First, they interview candidates to bring onto the team and welcome those who accept the job offer. It is also a sales manager’s responsibility to integrate them into their team and set them up for success.
2. Research and Information Sharing
- They develop and review new sales collateral and materials. That way, they can arm their team with the right information to proactively address customer questions.
- Managers monitor alerts regarding competitor updates in real-time. Like they do each morning, sales managers make it a point to summarize the highlights and share talking points for sales reps to use with prospects. They don’t let customers blindside their team with industry news they should have known already.
3. Direct Selling and Support
- To a more limited extent, sales managers still conduct outbound sales calls, triage inbound inquiries, and manage relationships with existing accounts. Even in a managerial role, sales managers still get to wear the salesperson hat regularly.
- Sales managers provide assistance to other sales reps for deals with larger and high-priority clients. When big opportunities enter the pipeline, smart sales managers play an important supporting role in helping to facilitate the sale. After all, it’s their sales team, and the manager also reaps the rewards of a major opportunity won.
- They test the waters with new customer acquisition channels. The best sales managers lead by example and help save their sales reps time by piloting lead gen campaigns themselves.
4. Sales Analytics and Data
- Most sales managers are obsessive about their pipeline and constantly compare it against their sales forecast and goals. They regularly analyze pipeline performance and progress.
- A sales manager will dissect each individual sales rep’s performance. Between call lengths, close rates, customer satisfaction levels, retention percentages, and upsell opportunities, sales managers pick apart every aspect of a salesperson’s stats to identify top performers and the reps who need more coaching and support.
5. Sales Coaching and Employee Engagement
- Sales managers lead one-on-one meetings with direct reports. Generally, this is a time to gauge employee happiness and wellbeing, reflect on opportunities for improvement within an individual’s performance, and share qualitative feedback based on observations.
- They also regularly ask reps what they need help with. Successful sales managers are approachable and available on a daily basis, which keeps employees engaged and forthright about the challenges they face.
6. Process Improvement and Corrective Measures
- Managers build more templates and processes for their team to use and follow. They also add to the ever-growing list of standard operating procedures so no one has to figure out the steps themselves.
- They find and implement new software solutions to make things even easier for their team. Sales managers regularly explore new technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as real-time collaboration tools to sell faster, smarter, and more reliably.
- Sales managers watch for overdue actions and tasks within their CRM or sales platform. Then, they gently remind reps of steps they may have missed.
Important Tasks to Close Out the Day
Before sales managers leave the office, they wrap up a few very important items that end the day on a positive note and set important projects and fixes into motion.
- Most importantly, sales managers open their preferred sales platform to spot the newest accounts acquired or renewals negotiated. They quickly celebrate the win with their team — this act of acknowledgment often goes a long way in boosting employee and team morale.
- To get the ball rolling on asset creation, sales managers send out requests for more sales collateral to be produced by the design and marketing teams.
- Sales managers can also suggest new features or report product bugs. Although major product issues should be reported immediately, sales managers may find it easier to bundle their new feature requests and smaller bug tickets as they finish their day, since higher-priority tasks (such as managing customer relationships) take precedent during the mornings and afternoons.
Beyond winning over new customer accounts, the most successful sales managers take the “manager” portion of their job title seriously. Sales managers do a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes to deliver an exceptional customer experience, help their team exceed expectations, and create competitive advantages for their employer.
Share "A Day in the Life of a Sales Manager " On Your Site