The success of a team is contingent upon an excellent sales performance management (SPM) system. Without a strong leader and clear strategies, employees don’t have the necessary tools and adequate knowledge to sell goods or services. An effective manager is the difference between reaching new levels of success and suffering from lagging sales. 

There are four steps that every sales manager has to take in order to lead a team to great heights. 

1. Defining goals and practices
The best place to start is at the end, because representatives must know what goals they are working toward. SPM professionals should set attainable goals for their teams by predicting growth based on last year’s data. Additionally, managers should offer sales incentives for clearly defined benchmarks. 

Sales Pro Magazine reports that it’s vital to teach employees how to follow best practices. Every agent should work within his or her corporate guidelines when it comes to dealing with clients. Managers should create extensive sales on-boarding programs to ensure that workers know their company’s techniques. 

2. Keep improving
Training isn’t meant solely for employees. Most managers come from sales backgrounds and they don’t always receive proper education for their leadership positions. According to the Gallup Business Journal, the majority of sales supervisors receive little to no training when they’re promoted. As a result, these newly advanced managers don’t understand how to effectively lead their teams. 

Team leaders should be proactive and seek training for their new positions. Educational resources like coaching classes and webinars are available to managers. Proper managerial on-boarding breeds effective supervisors. 

3. Discipline when necessary
Managers do more than reward excellent representatives – they also have to discipline workers when necessary. Everyone makes mistakes and it’s important that supervisors correct the errors as soon as possible to prevent consistently poor behavior in the future. 

Employees need to hear constructive criticism in order to improve. High-level executives should calmly explain why a representative’s actions were improper, how to rectify the situation and what to do in the future to prevent the recurrence of such mistakes. Managers should prepare training programs for staffers who don’t improve after being given multiple chances. 

4. Lead by example
The most effective SPM tactic is to lead by example. Managers should be the standards by which agents measure their own performances. Employees often look up to their bosses and follow in their footsteps. Without leaders who practices what they preach, representatives are more prone to mistakes that can hurt the company.