Leadership In Sales – 5 x Important Lessons & Habits
Having great leadership in sales is extremely valuable, because it’ll help you with your communication, influence, and of course management skills.
Although sales roles make up a large part of most countries’ employment, you’d be surprised to know (or perhaps aren’t) that leadership in sales isn’t something that’s widely taught.
In this article, you’ll learn why leadership in sales is so valuable, as well as the five important lessons and habits performed by sales leaders.
Leadership In Sales – 5 x Important Lessons & Habits
Leadership In Sales Tip #1 – Coaching
A common and effective leadership in sales trait, is that they coach their sales team; and they coach them regularly.
Coaching is important for a number of reasons:
- You can develop talent, saving on recruitment costs
- Ensure consistency – one approach for consistent results
- Greater life and work balance
- Raise confidence levels across the team
- Up skill team members to be more effective in the field
When coaching sales people, sales leaders know that they’ll need to adapt their style to the individual they’re coaching.
The more you consistently coach your staff, the more effective both you and your team will be. According to HBR, high performing sales managers average an 81% effectiveness factor, where mediocre sales managers averaged 55%.
This means that there is definite connection to team effectiveness, and how you’ll perform as a team leader.
In order to ensure your sales coaching is effective, focus on the following areas:
- Know your desired outcomes
- Teach a sales process
- Ensure they get the right training
- Role play
- Know their personal goals
To learn how to do each of these in more detail, read the related article below.
Related article: 5 x Sales Coaching Tips For Sales Managers
Leadership In Sales Tip #2 – Show Them What’s Possible
Another important leadership in sales trait, is to inspire your people – and them what’s possible.
Salespeople just like anyone else, don’t want to work for a mundane manager.
They want someone who can show them what’s possible, and more importantly; what it will mean if they do their job well.
If you reward your staff for making an excellent effort, following systems and process, and of course – getting results, you’ll continue raising morale, and in turn your people will respect you.
When you host team meetings, don’t just keep them logical and systematic. We also recommend recognising good behaviour and highlighting the results your good staff are doing.
Related article: 8 x Sales Meeting Topics To Share With Your Team
Tip #3 – Be Approachable
Something that’ll go a very long way as a sales leader, is being approachable to all your staff.
A powerful leadership in sales trait, is for your staff to know that they can approach you with any issue, and that they won’t feel judged, condemned, and feel ashamed in doing so.
Being approachable means that that you not only tell people they can come to you – but your actions speak true of your words, and that you elicit behaviours that give people confidence in being able to do so.
According to mindtools, here are some statements to answer as to whether you’re approachable or not:
- The negative feedback I give outweighs my positive feedback
- I smile at people, whatever their level in the organisation
- I step away from my desk to walk around and speak with colleagues
- When someone approaches me with an issue, I empathise with their position
- I talk with my arms folded
- My team members have my number, and know they can call me
Being approachable is an important leadership in sales trait because it allows people to speak to you and self-reflect to get the answers they need.
This then allows them to develop their own critical and rational thinking, making them more effective or working out issues on their own.
Leadership In Sales Tip #4 – Set Goals
As Peter Drucker said, what gets measured gets managed; and he was 100% correct.
So many salespeople conduct their roles daily, without moving towards daily, weekly, monthly, or annual goals.
An important leadership in sales trait and habit is knowing how to help your team set goals, and then ensuring that they have the tools and know how to get there.
When setting goals, they should have two important ingredients.
First; they need to be logical.
We recommend using SMART goals when setting logical goals.
- Time bound
Secondly, your goals need to be anchored with emotion.
The reason why so many people set a new year’s resolution; only to come completely off the rails a few weeks to months in, is because their goals were purely logical and weren’t anchored with emotion.
When you set your goals with emotion as well as logic, you’ll have a want and need to stay true to the course until you achieve it, because you’ll have a stronger internal reason as to why you’d want to achieve it.
You’ll have a deeper why.
So, it’s crucial when setting goals, that you want to have the outcome both emotionally and logically.
To learn how to set goals the right way, read the related article directly below.
Further reading: How To Set Goals The Right Way
Leadership In Sales Tip #5 – Show Them The Way
Finally, our last and most important leadership in sales trait, is being able to show them how to do it.
You can inspire, help them set goals, and show them what’s possible if they do the right thing – but without showing them exactly what to do to win consistent sales – you’ll frustrate your salespeople.
When teaching your salespeople the right sales training, ensure its foundation is built on a consistent sales process.
A sales process is a step by step framework that will give your team certainty, consistency and allows them to measure what’s working and what’s broken.
Our flagship sales process consists of the following steps:
- Building rapport
- Setting a pre-frame
- Asking questions that uncover pain
- Finding out their desired results
- Talking about money implications, and budget
- Presenting your solution
- Handling areas of concern
- Asking for the sale
By having single steps in the process, you can help coach and guide your salespeople more effectively in how to reach their goals and outcomes.
To learn more about the sales process and its steps, learn more about The 5% Sales Blueprint below.
Further reading: The 5% Sales Blueprint – The Last Sales Training You’ll Ever Need
These leadership in sales traits and habits will help you be a better sales leader, because by following each – you’ll be able to guide them on the clarity they should work towards, and then how to get there.
Although there are many other areas you can focus on, these five although brief; will give you some great impact when done correctly.
If you’re interested in up skilling your sales conversations, you can register for The 7 Day Sales Challenge for free here.