Sales Leadership: The 3 Mantras
3 Key Functions of a True Sales Leader
Being a leader in any capacity has its challenges, and well, people are people. They come with different personalities, challenges, strengths, weaknesses…well you get the gist. Salespeople, well, they are a whole different breed, and managing them throughout the daily grind can present its own unique problems. Throughout my time as a military leader, IT and sales career, I’ve tried to hone it down to the minimal roots. So, the mantra for sales leaders? Here is how I see it:
How can I reduce the noise and keep people focused?
The Filter (Sh*t screen) – Like it or not, certain things always roll downhill (or down the chain), good and bad. As a leader, in sales or any other function, one of your key roles is communications both up and down. Like it or not, its your choice to manage the message, ensure it is delivered properly, and to prevent (absorb/filter) any impact to the operations of your team. Poor leaders have less of a filter, and are essentially repeaters of any news. Excellent leaders leaders leverage analyze the messages, changes in operations, new comp structures, territory redesign, etc, and retransmit in a positive light, or look for ways to keep the team focused, and not let the minutiae distract and wreak havoc. In today’s corporate environment, there is waaaaay too much noise. And without a filter, salespeople can lose focus and drift.
How can remove obstacles in the road to success?
The Blockade Remover – As a leader, do you ever feel like a therapist? Your troopers bring you problems, typically those that require some help or effort to figure out. We all have experienced the the blocker to closing a deal that just could not be handled at our level. As a sales leader, you should be constantly asking: How can I help? Maybe its working with legal on behalf of a rep to get through some small detail internally, or massaging the pricing model for a large enterprise deal. Possibly escalating a product issue internally that is consuming a reps time and energy. Blockades have a way or replicating, and removing them for one rep will typically solve problems down the road and reap big benefits.
What can I do to enhance skills, improve efficiency and produce more sales?
The Enabler – Your are not only responsible for revenue generation and quota attainment as the Captain of your ship, but also for the enablement, development and growth of your team (s). Is there a process improvement opportunity or technology that can make your team more efficient? Would product or sales training in a certain area provide the tools for greater success? Enablement is not only team wide, but can also focus on the individual. What could benefit the under performers on your crew? As a sales leader, looking a the team en masse and the individual as a separate task is a path to better performance and plan execution.
Filter.Remover.Enabler. Never thought it was so simple, eh? Just a mantra to recenter when I drift off the leader path. Thoughts?