Being a great sales rep means being great at prioritizing tasks, building relationships, and finding productivity in all depths of your soul. To be a great sales leader, you have to be all those things and more because now the success or failure of an entire sales team rides on your shoulders.
In today’s inbound marketing world, the success of sales depends on relationships. Many successful sales people attribute a large chunk of that success to having a great sales leader. The quality of a sales organization can often be traced back to its sales leader, which means if you want your sales team to succeed, you need to channel the essence of the greatest sales leader and let it flow into your team.
Luckily, it doesn’t take much to be great, if you’re willing to commit. Here are five activities that the best sales leaders prioritize in themselves and their teams.
Arguably, coaching is the most important activity a sales leader should master, and quickly. Learning to coach your entire team means you are building a strong community of professionals who are able to focus and build something great. When sales reps don’t feel supported, they won’t be motivated and they may fail.
Building up each person means everyone is working at their most effective. It also means that you, as the sales leader, can spot weaknesses early and maximize strengths to enhance sales success. Coaching gives you intimate knowledge of not only your team, but the sales forecast; you’ll be able to spot potential problems early in the sales cycle and adjust accordingly.
2. Be the Voice of Your Team
Sales reps are naturally great at relationship building, both externally and internally within your organization. But there are times when it’s just not practical for each individual to directly liaison with all aspects of your organization.
By being the champion for your team, by listening to their needs and concern, and by carrying those forward loudly when they matter, you will build trust with your team.
3. Be a Sounding Board
Often, people just need someone to listen. When ideas are stuck in one’s head, it’s often difficult to see a way out. But by listening to your team member and letting him or her talk it out, it’s likely an answer can be found without you ever saying a word.
At the same time, knowing the right word to say in this situation to guide your rep to an answer is equally important. With the minimum effort but maximum results, you can remove roadblocks preventing a rep from succeeding.
4. Embody Transparency
Sales leadership, much like making sales, is about relationship building. You’re bringing a team together, and you can’t do that with one-sided sharing or opaqueness. Be honest; it’s the best catalyst for a great team.
Bad news always comes. But if you’ve been transparent, your team will trust you and follow your lead.
5. Hire Great People & Inspire Them
You’re a sales leader. It’s your job to forge this team and inspire its members to greatest. Part of that means hiring great people to be a part of the team, but it also means inspiring everyone, every day, to be their best professional selves.
Everyone wants to live and work within their comfort zone. It’s your job to encourage and lead people outside of this zone, even just a little at a time, until the comfort zone is a larger place. By challenging your team, you create a culture of improvement that is beneficial to all members as well as the organization.
Being a great sales leader means forging a team and supporting its growth and evolution. In the end, your activities should be focused on supporting your team through the evolution of their best professional selves. In the process, you’ll end up making a great sales team.