Sales managers also act as CRM sheriffs, ensuring all reps are using the system properly. CRM aside, sales managers are also involved in the vetting, selection, and deployment of new sales tools. While sales manager candidates don't need to be computer whizzes, some technological savvy is necessary.
The candidate doesn't have to give a sample agenda of what their one-on-ones would look like. However, it's important that their conception of a coaching session includes actual coaching -- not just a dry discussion of the numbers. Listen for responses that include mentions of career development, goals, skill building, and problem solving in addition to data review.
It would be nice if a sales manager could do ride alongs and listen in on each and every call a new rep makes, but this model is impractical at scale. Make sure the candidate acknowledges the importance of a repeatable training process that doesn't center around an informal passing down of knowledge.
The craziest thing that has happened thus far would probably be the time that I was demonstrating grapes and pears. Out of nowhere this guy walked down the aisle and a carton of milk exploded. Craziest thing to see! There was milk everywhere!! I didn't know what to do. Well, the Sam's Club maintenance employees did a great job of cleaning it up. My friend Mason (who is one of the employees) got his clean up cart and got to ride it over the milk which I kind of envied him for because it looked fun. Other than that, we haven't had any major spills.
This is a bit of a trick question, but it's an important one. The best sales managers know that motivation is personal. While money might drive one rep to go the extra mile, another might be inspired by a development opportunity or creative contest. The candidate who can navigate the trick and get to the right answer -- in this case, "it depends on the rep" -- possesses the motivational ability to lead a sales team to success.
Well, a huge challenge in my job is not knowing what will happen next at times. See, when you get a ABC event, you can just look it up online and know what you are going to get the next day (and be prepared for your sales pitches and stuff). However, when you get a Sam's Club event, you won't know until the day of as to what to do and so forth. You could be demonstrating fish or laundry detergent – you would have no idea and that's kind of frustrating. There is also the challenge of dealing with people that have had a bad day or are just completely rude to you. You have to just suck it up and deal with it. Sometimes smiling all the time is tough when you are having a bad day yourself. Nonetheless, these are obstacles that are easily avoided with the right attitude.
The salary for this type of position reflects the lack of formal education required. The average demonstrator and product promoter in the United States makes about $24,500. The lower 10% make about $18,900 while the upper 10% make about $44,600. Of course, your salary will depend on a number of factors. It depends on your education, the complexity of the product or service you're promoting, where you live and the institution that you work for.
You should be familiar with the following tools and technology in order to make being a demonstrator and product promoter easier:
☛ Barcode Scanners
☛ Presentation Software
☛ Spreadsheet Software
☛ Word Processing Software
These tools and technology will not only make your job easier, but also more efficient.
We have to be able to work well independently. I have to have the ability to stand for up to eight hours at a time. My computer skills come in handy (though they are more advanced; basic is required). I need to have daily access to a computer that is connected to the internet. I have obtained knowledge of products and promotions and encourage consumers to purchase products to help increase sales. Each day I have to prepare and serve food samples utilizing raw meats, produce, microwaves, hot plates, oil and kitchen utensils. We have to demonstrate packaged goods to consumers. Sometimes we also distribute coupons and sale materials.
As mentioned above, sales managers often make less money than sales reps and perform a drastically different job. Tease out the candidate's motivations behind seeking this promotion. Do they want to be a manager because they crave a larger role within the company as a whole, and a chance to influence strategic decisions? Or have they gotten bored with their jobs, and management seems like a step up? The latter motivation is a recipe for dissatisfaction and a disengaged sales manager.