5 Skills of Great Sales Leaders
Great Sales Leaders have a difficult job. Unlike most other positions in a business, Sales People are often the most difficult to find, hire and retain, but they are an essential part of any B2B sales machine. Sales & Professional Selling itself can seem complicated as there are so many different areas of sales, and Sales Leadership is no different. Every successful sales department is like a cake, and the ingredients, quantities, and the way the cake is baked, is unique to that organisation. Take the exact same recipe and instructions to another organisation and it may well taste awful. Great sales leaders are like master bakers, using exactly the right ingredients, in the right quantities and baked in the correct way delivering sales success.
From our own list of 15 sales ingredients that we teach on our Sales Leadership programme, we have chosen 5 as a great starting point. So whether you are new to Sales Leadership, or looking to develop in your role as a high performing Sales Director, we hope you enjoy our recipe for sales success.
1. Man Management
Yes it’s obvious that the ability to manage people is important, but most Sales Leaders struggle because in the modern world many Leaders have a personal sales target, in addition to the team target they are responsible for, and this ensures they are always time poor. When managers are time poor finding time to nurture and coach their team is difficult.
2. Best Practice
Best Practice in sales is no different to culture, in that it comes from the top. The modern sales leader understands the need to establish Best Practice in sales, after which they ensure it’s documented, it’s shared and it’s measured. Best Practice can also be used as the foundation of a sales improvement plan and as part of Coaching plans to help develop B players into A players.
Sales technology and tools are moving faster than ever before and in certain circumstances this can provide the edge needed both to move deals forward and to get deals over the line. CRM is great and an essential, but it’s only a starting point and the modern sales leader uses additional tools to help find, close and grow accounts.
The ability to develop and execute winning sales strategies should never be underestimated as there are lots of great products and services that have failed because they couldn’t get sales traction. Unfortunately this is hugely underestimated by people who don’t understand sales.
5. Personal Development
In order to grow sales you need to grow the sales people, and great Sales Leaders understand this. They ensure every member of the sales team has a Personal Development Plan and they train, coach and nurture their people accordingly. Furthermore they typically lead by example and always look to develop themselves.
Great Sales Leaders do have a challenging job, but it’s also hugely rewarding. And not just the feeling that success, more sales and more commissions bring, but also the rewards of developing and growing fellow sales professionals should never be underestimated.
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