The quality of a Sales leader will have a profound impact on the success of every organisation. The team’s success and the quality of leadership are intrinsically linked. But what makes a great Sales leader? Here are five attributes for excellent Sales leadership.
Command and accountability: Excellent Sales leadership begins with establishing a commanding position and being able to hold teams to a higher level of accountability. Commanding attributes enable leaders to exert their influence more effectively over the team, continually measure and hold salespeople accountable against their target. This doesn’t mean dictating, it means being able to establish a successful environment where poor performance isn’t accepted or tolerated.
Natural hiring ability: The natural ability to hire great talent ensures a steady pipeline of good salespeople. Hiring good people versus bad hiring can be the difference between a successful or a failing team. Great Sales leaders focus on hiring the right type of people who fit into the culture of the team and display the characteristics that’ll increase the chances of top performance. Leaders who hire badly are essentially continually shooting themselves in the foot.
Process-oriented: Sales leaders who have a good approach to sales processes are generally able to more effectively achieve and exceed targets. That’s because good processes ensure best practices are adhered to, efficiencies are gained, and positive team behaviours are promoted. Underperforming Sales teams usually have poor processes, which burden productivity and allow bad behaviours and habits to creep in.
Coaching flexibility: Understanding how to coach and mentor different people is a key attribute for leaders. Coaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and needs adapting for each individual. Those who are able to do this are able to get more out of every person and build stronger relationships internally. High quality, regular coaching is vital for maintaining a top-performing Sales team.
Strategic mindset: A solid strategy underpins all activity. Those who can plot the best strategy to beat the competition, and then have the leadership to execute it, will be in a much stronger position to achieve their goals. A strategic mindset means continually thinking about the best course of action, how to maximise revenue opportunities, and how to improve the understanding of resources, market analysis, product knowledge and so on.
The Sales team is unlike every other department in the business. Its leaders need to display commanding attributes and ensure the team display the behaviours they should. However, the Sales leader must also be able to determine the strategic direction the team goes in, be able to coach individuals effectively, and hire good people. All of these attributes enable a leader to ensure their team stays on track and has a winning mindset.