Brent Mason graduated from the University of Georgia during the 2007 recession and picked up a job selling cars. While his degree was in Business Management, he enjoyed the competitive environment more. By the time the recession lifted in 2009, Mason had worked his way up from salesperson to New Car Sales Manager.
A few months into the job, Mason began to have problems. The peers he once worked alongside had become his employees, and the power dynamic was difficult to navigate. He found himself being walked all over by some and despised by others. The paperwork was mounting, the stress was incredible, and ultimately, he quit before his 90-day evaluation.
What caused the rise and spectacular fall of this ambitious young man? He stumbled into several common pitfalls of sales managers and never recovered. Don’t let it happen to you. Avoid these mistakes to take your career from barely surviving to thriving!
Lack of Boundaries
What can a person like Mason do when promoted above their peers? Setting healthy boundaries and expectations at the beginning will go a long way. A sales manager that previously worked among his employees as an equal will have to walk the line between friendship and professionalism. With the support of the General Manager, the new working relationships should be clearly defined in the first sales meeting. Written guidelines on the role of a salesperson vs. a sales manager and ongoing training about how the two support each other will help reduce misunderstandings. A sales manager can be friendly and supportive with his staff without crossing the line or showing favoritism.
Fear As a Motivator
Sales departments are notorious for using fear to motivate their staff. The idea that you have to meet your goal every month or you’re fired, does little to improve performance. Working under high-stress conditions can have the opposite effect. Create an environment to thrive in by offering support and training to help employees become self-sufficient. Set realistic goals and publicly incentivize those who perform. When employees feel they can trust their manager and have space to make mistakes, without fear of retaliation, they become better employees. This will also help retain your employees which saves you time and the dealership money.
The transition from sales associate to sales manager can cause uncertainty. Often, sales managers lean towards one extreme or the other. On one side, they revert to their days on the sales floor and get overly involved in the sales process. That can make it difficult for the salesperson to do their job and take away from tasks a sales manager should be handling. When the pendulum swings to the other extreme, you might find a new sales manager buried in paperwork, behind their desk. Overemphasis on the metrics will result in a detached, glossy-eyed sales manager running his team off corporate goals rather than personalized strategy and realistic expectations. A nice balance of support, operations, and goal getting—from a new sales manager—makes for an overall successful transition.
Support For Sales Managers
Insignia Group Accessories Selling System helps sales managers increase revenue through accessory sales. Insignia Group’s expert consultants help your staff acclimate to selling accessories, at the point of purchase. Our robust reporting enables you to track your sales teams' performance and the most popular accessories per vehicle. You can implement the system in 10 minutes and your sales team won’t need to do anything except register customers and let them pick their own accessories with our interactive visuals. Contact us today to see how our system can make your job easier!