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Understanding the Role of Sales Manager

A sales manager coaches and leads a team of sales representatives to meet and exceed quotas. But what else does their role entail? They build sales plans, add salespeople to the team as well as various other responsibilities. Sales managers also play a key role in a company’s win rate.

What is a win rate?

A win rate is the percentage of closed opportunities out of total opportunities. If your company has a low win rate it’s up to the sales manager to reevaluate the strengths and weakness of their sales team.

Establish Win Rate

One of the most common ways to determine your win rate is to just divide won opportunities by total opportunities. If you have five total opportunities in a sales period and you win one of them your win rate would be 20%. However, this isn’t always the best way to go about determining win rate. Not all deals were created equal. Some deals are inherently better. These deals, or accounts, can be won through account-based sales development.

Account-based sales development, or ABSD, is targeting high value accounts in a direct and customized fashion. This strategy places quality over quantity.

Calculate Average Deal Size

A sales manager is responsible for keeping an eye on their team to make sure they manage their time and resources efficiently, moving leads quickly through the pipeline and focusing on the right type of leads. A team may have one rep who loves to go after many, many tiny leads because they are easily won. Or a rep who pursues one or two massive accounts that are really difficult to close. There needs to be a balance between these two sales approaches.

It is up to the sales manager to determine average deal size and develop a strategy. If a team’s deal size averages out to be pretty small, then it may be a better idea to focus marketing and sales efforts into lead generation. If a team’s deal size averages a lot higher, efforts should be focused on closing high value accounts efficiently and account retention.

Benchmark Team Members

If you’re a sales rep, your manager is also your coach. Part of a coach’s job is to see how their players stack up to determine who the starting players are. With a culture of transparency, managers are able to see who needs more support, guidance and training. Determining who could use some guidance is easier with transparent pipelines because managers are able to see what type and how long an opportunity is in their reps’ pipelines.

Re-establishing Deal Value

The sales managers and sales reps may have devoted a lot more time and effort into higher value accounts and passed on some lower values deals. Is your team less successful to win only one high value deal instead of multiple lower value deals? Not necessarily!

In scenarios like this, it might be better to look at the value of the win rate rather than just the number. The value of the win rate serves as a more accurate indicators of resource utilization, pipeline success and future investment return. Determining the value win rate can be done the same as traditional win rate but by examining the high value accounts instead of all accounts.

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November 11, 2016
Caitlin Glasscock

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