It’s okay for software sales managers to set ambitious goals because it encourages employees to achieve their full potential. Competitive work environments, and even some stress, can help stimulate sales activity. But, if the goals are consistently unrealistic and their managers are too stringent, then employees will get discouraged rather quickly. Here is a guide to managing salespeople without being a jerk.

Show More Empathetic Leadership

The ability to understand their employees’ needs and feelings, also referred to as strong empathy, is what separates great managers from all of the other ones. Unfortunately, a recent study indicated that only 40% of frontline leaders were proficient in empathy.

Although it might be challenging to break away from traditional management models that encouraged leaders to be unrelenting with meetings and reminders, it’s no longer conducive to improving workplace productivity. Organizations that promote empathy are happier and more productive, have better employee engagement, and show more innovation than others.

Empathetic managers aren’t soft or weak. Rather they inspire and empower their employees by simply understanding their needs, feelings, thoughts, etc. They are also well-versed in recognizing signs of burnout by checking in with their employees regularly. Some of the best software sales managers in the industry don’t hesitate to help employees with personal problems and show compassion when they share personal losses. 

Improve Empathy Skills

It’s no surprise that software sales managers who create supportive work environments are more successful than those who don’t. It all goes back to learning and improving empathy skills. Empathy is a trait that can be developed in a variety of simple ways including:

  • Stress the importance of empathy in the workplace. Empathy is just as significant as monitoring and planning the performance of employees.
  • Teach active listening techniques. Managers that are good listeners, andhear the meaning of what their employees are saying, will become trusted and respected. Sometimes, non-verbal communication, like breaking eye contact, can tell you more than what is being said.
  • Experience a day in the life of a software salesperson. Perhaps the most effective way for a manager to understand and connect with employees is to spend some time outside of the role working alongside them. This also helps promote open communication, another key to empathetic leadership.
  • Be curious instead of always giving advice. It’s usually a leader’s instinct to give an opinion, but sometimes improving perspective by asking some questions is a better approach.

Listening and empathy is the most potent combination when it comes to handling the concerns of employees. Managers can remind employees that everybody is on the same team by using “we” and “us” instead of “me” or “I.”



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