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Helpful Resources for Managing a Sales Team

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Whether you’re managing a sales team for the first time or you’re a sales management veteran, this playbook is your home for sales management resources. Read through this guide for an introduction to key sales management topics, and check out the additional resources for more in-depth tips and information about managing a sales team.

What is sales management?

Sales management is the process of developing, organizing, optimizing, and overseeing sales teams, strategies, and processes. The role of a sales manager includes hiring and managing sales representatives, setting goals, defining processes, and reporting results.

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Leading a sales team

What goes into managing a sales team? Sales managers’ responsibilities range from creating company-wide sales strategies to managing day-to-day activities to hiring new sales representatives to build out their teams.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways sales managers can impact their teams and their company’s success.

Discover some of the most impactful ways to create a successful sales team: 

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leading a sales team

Creating sales strategies and processes

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Developing and implementing a sales strategy

One essential role of a sales manager is creating and implementing a sales strategy that guides how the sales team functions. The sales strategy lays out a plan for how the team will reach its goals.

A sales strategy should define elements such as target markets and value propositions, as well as the channels and tactics that will be used to achieve sales goals.

Developing and executing a sales strategy requires research, analysis, and collaboration. The sales strategy should align with the company’s overall goals and incorporate the sales team’s knowledge. Sales managers should regularly review their sales strategies and refine them as needed.

Learn more about sales strategy:

sales team strategy

Setting clear goals

Setting well-defined goals is an essential sales management strategy because it keeps the sales team on track and lets sales representatives know what’s expected of them. Sales managers may set goals for key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales volume, customer acquisition, and revenue.

It’s helpful to break goals down by timeframes, such as by year, quarter, and month, and by the whole organization, by team, and by individual.

Learn more about setting sales goals:

sales team goals

Defining the sales process

A sales process defines your sales team’s steps to convert prospects into customers. It creates consistency and accountability and gives your sales team a concrete plan for what to do and when. Like sales strategies, sales managers should regularly review and update their sales process.

Implementing your sales process in a CRM like Nutshell enables you to keep your process organized and automate elements of your process, such as assigning leads to sales representatives and moving them through your pipeline.

Learn more about creating a sales process:

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an image describing what a sales process is

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Providing sales training and coaching to team members

Sales managers can elevate their team’s skills and performance through training and coaching. Sales managers might provide training themselves or plan and oversee training programs.

Training may cover product knowledge, sales techniques, customer service, and other relevant topics. Sales managers can provide coaching through one-on-one meetings, group sessions, or other formats and should tailor coaching to team members’ needs, experience, and skill levels.

Learn more about sales training and coaching:

sales team trainings

Conducting regular team meetings

Regular meetings, when run well, keep sales teams informed, aligned, and engaged. During these meetings, teams can discuss progress toward goals, challenges sales reps face, and opportunities for improvement and growth.

These meetings should be well-structured with a clear focus and agenda and opportunities for all team members to participate. Both one-on-one and team meetings can be valuable.

Explore these resources for tips on how to run effective sales meetings:

a sales meeting

Motivating and inspiring team members

Another way sales managers can help their teams succeed is by keeping them motivated and inspired.

Some ways sales managers can inspire their teams include:

  • Providing incentives
  • Recognizing achievements and progress
  • Creating a positive, supportive team culture

As a sales manager, you can gather feedback from your team on what motivates them so you can tailor your efforts to your team and individual reps.

Get more tips for motivating your sales team:

motivate your sales team

Managing team performance and providing feedback

Managing team performance is another critical aspect when determining how to manage a sales team. Team managers should monitor and regularly evaluate each sales rep’s performance and provide feedback.

This may involve reviewing performance data and listening in on or joining sales calls. These reviews keep managers up to date on potential issues and things that are working well. They can then address these issues individually or with the whole team if they apply to everyone.

Providing regular constructive, objective, and supportive feedback helps ensure sales reps are aware of their strengths, potential opportunities for improvement, and progress toward their goals.

Learn more about managing sales team performance:

sales team performance

Providing resources and support to help team members achieve their goals

The right resources and support are essential for sales teams’ success. It’s important to regularly check in with team members to ensure they have the tools needed to achieve their goals.

Sales managers should ensure their teams have access to the right resources, such as:

  • Training and development materials
  • Tools and technologies, such as an easy-to-use CRM
  • Support from management and other team members

Providing this support is often called sales enablement.

Learn more about sales enablement:

sales manager resources

Fostering a positive team culture and managing team dynamics

Sales managers also need to manage team dynamics to help set their teams up for success. This involves creating a positive culture, promoting collaboration, and managing conflicts.

Creating a positive team culture is key to team morale and performance. Sales managers can foster a positive team culture through clear communication, setting clear expectations, and providing recognition and support.

Providing opportunities for team members to get to know each other through events can also help improve a team’s culture and dynamics.

positive sales team culture

Determining sales commission structures

Another vital role of sales managers is establishing compensation expectations, including base salary and commission. Sales managers often work with other leaders in their organization on this task.

Learn more about sales commission structures:

sales commission structures

Managing team budget and resources

Managing the team’s budget and resources involves ensuring the team has the resources it needs while staying within budget limitations. Sales managers may set budgets, track expenses, and determine how to allocate resources. Regularly reviewing budgets and adjusting them as needed helps ensure sales teams continue to have the resources they need.

Learn more about managing your team’s budget and resources:

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sales team budget

Recruiting and hiring your sales team

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Sales managers, talent acquisition teams, HR departments, and others in their organization play important roles in recruiting and hiring new sales reps for their teams.

Managers need to identify their team’s personnel needs, find candidates with the right skills and qualities, and recruit them through job postings, networking, and other methods.

Retaining your sales team is another important area for sales managers to focus on. Many of the tips above, including keeping your team motivated, creating a positive team culture, and providing training and coaching, can help with this.

 Check out these resources for tips on hiring an amazing sales team:

recruiting a sales team

Onboarding sales reps

Creating a smooth onboarding process is essential for the success of your sales team. A well-designed onboarding process gets new team members up to speed quickly and helps them develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.

Onboarding may include training on product knowledge, sales techniques, your sales process, and more. As a sales manager, you may handle onboarding and training directly or plan and oversee an onboarding program.

Get tips for onboarding sales reps here:

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onboarding sales team tips

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KPIs for sales managers

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Sales managers need to track the effectiveness of their sales strategy and teams and progress toward their goals. Tracking, analyzing, and reporting KPIs makes this possible.

These reports and KPIs enable sales managers to adjust their sales strategy and processes as needed, provide the necessary training and coaching, ensure their teams are on track with their goals, and keep the sales team aligned with broader business objectives.

Learn more about KPIs for sales managers:

key performance indicators for sales teams

Reports for sales managers

Some important reports for sales managers include:

  • Weekly, monthly, and quarterly sales reports
  • Revenue-by-salesperson reports
  • Net income reports
  • Sales goals reports
  • Forecasting reports
  • Sales commission reports
  • Sales funnel analyses

Learn more about reporting:

reports for sales managers

Metrics for sales teams

Some important metrics to track include:

  • Number of incoming deals
  • Sales rep activities, such as the number of calls made or tasks completed
  • Sales call duration
  • Individual and team sales goal progress
  • Customer retention
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Upsell and cross-sell rates
  • Number of deals won and lost
  • Sales cycle length
  • Conversion rate
  • Value and number of deals won
  • Revenue figures

Learn more about sales metrics:

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metrics for sales teams

Resources and software for managers

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One of the most impactful ways sales managers can set their teams up for success is by ensuring they have the right tools and technology. Managers should evaluate their team’s needs and choose user-friendly tools that have the right features and will help the team reach its goals.

resources and software for sales managers


Some essential tools for sales teams include:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Project management tools
  • Collaboration platforms such as internal chat and video conferencing tools
  • Performance management tools for tracking goals
  • Email management tools
  • Sales and marketing intelligence tools
  • Live chat tools
  • Analytics and reporting tools
  • Training tools such as documentation libraries and training programs

One of the most important tools for any sales team is CRM software. CRMs enable you to organize and track your sales processes, keep track of relationships with leads and contacts, automate elements of your sales process, and track your progress toward your goals.

Learn more about software for sales managers:

a sales team needs a crm

CRM features

Some CRMs, like Nutshell, also include email marketing capabilities so you can use email to convert more leads and keep up with your customers right from your CRM.

Features you should look for in a CRM include:

  • An easy-to-use sales dashboard
  • Sales reporting capabilities
  • Forecasting features
  • Pipeline management
  • Activity reporting
  • A flexible sales process builder
  • Automated lead assignment
  • Funnel reporting
  • Responsive, friendly customer support


crm features your sales team needs

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Additional resources for sales managers

The best sales managers are always learning new skills and sales management techniques, keeping up with the latest sales trends, and building their expertise. Check out the article below for some of the most helpful resources for sales managers, from blogs to books to newsletters.

Explore additional resources for sales managers:

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additional resources for sales managers

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