Becoming A Manager Series – Part 3

October 13, 2020

Developing Management Skills as an Individual Contributor

In the last part of the series we discussed how to start your campaign to become a manager. One of the most important aspects of that article is meeting with members of management and getting specific action items that they would need to see you accomplish to feel confident backing you as a manager. More than likely, that list is going to have some common traits.

This week, I’m going to talk about the skills and traits you need to develop to be a manager and why.

Do your job.

I can not emphasize this enough, if you are not hitting your quota then I will not hire you for a management position. Hard no. Think about it, if you can’t hit your numbers, how can I expect you to get a whole team to hit their numbers? I can’t. Not only that, but even if I did give you the opportunity to manage after missing your numbers you would not be able to command the respect of your team.

Your most important priority above all else is doing your job and hitting your quota.

Treat your KPI’s like you are a manager.

Your manager is using your KPI’s to help you make adjustments in your process. Every one-on-one you have with them, they should be going over your numbers to pick out the areas you can improve the most. If you’re a proficient sales person, these little tweaks can go a long way to helping you really excel.

Dig into the numbers and figure out what areas you can adapt to make the biggest difference. If you’re already a high performer, your numbers will likely be above average BUT that does not mean there are no areas to improve. Get granular. Maybe you could increase your connect rate by blocking prospecting times to certain hours. Maybe you could stand to improve in a specific industry you are selling into. Point is, you will be thinking about this on a daily basis to support your reps in the future and you need to have an intimate understanding of your KPI’s and develop strategies to help reps adapt. It starts with you.

Have the most organized and up-to-date pipeline.

You’re probably noticing a theme at this point. Yes, your pipeline should be immaculate. Managing a pipeline is an ongoing process, extremely important, and usually the first thing to get disorganized for many sales people. You should have your eye on your pipeline and be cleaning it up on an ongoing basis throughout the day and then again at the end of the day.

Each morning you should be walking in knowing exactly what needs to be done for the day. Your notes should be up to date. Your calendar should be organized, attendees confirmed,  and conferencing links added. You should have a plan for follow ups, know what each of your prospects needs from you and you from them, and you should be able to accurately project your month and quarter.

Doing all of these things above will help you tighten up your day, make you more efficient and effective. That should help you free up some time to help others when it’s appropriate.

Ask where you can help.

When you are doing all of these things and are demonstrating proficiency and understanding of the process and you’re hitting your numbers THEN you should suggest ways or ask how you can contribute to the success of the team. Ask to speak in huddles or do a lunch and learn for the team and speak to something that is working for you. See if there are reps on the team you can help coach or mentor.

Build confidence with your manager by demonstrating that you understand the process and why it is important – no cutting corners. Lead by example, hit your numbers, and then you can show others how they can do it too.