Tag Archives: how to lead a sales team

Sales Leadership

The culture of any given enterprise is most often a reflection of its leadership, and the sales force tends to mirror that culture when interacting with customers and prospects.

“I’ve never seen a company that was able to satisfy its customers that did not also satisfy its employees,” said Larry Bossidy former CEO Allied Signal, Inc. “Employees will treat your customers no better than you treat your employees.”

Others suggest that an organization tends to sell in a fashion that is directly related to how the organization buys — in other words, if the organization evaluates suppliers and makes buying decisions based primarily on price, then they also tend to sell at lower margins; and vice-versa.

Either way, as leaders, we have a profound impact on how our sales people interact with the marketplace each day, because the direct and implied messages they convey to our customers are based upon their impressions of our position on a range of issues — from how we evaluate and buy things, to how we talk about and treat customers.

Similarly, if the sales force is not enjoying high-levels of success in the marketplace, our cultural approach to improving their approach — i.e., building upon strengths versus focusing on weaknesses — can significantly impact their success or failure.

So what can we do to positively lead or impact the selling process?

Here are 5 steps you can take…

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Another Viewpoint on Leading a Sales Force

leadership4As a follow-up to our previous post, a recent article published on allinnetworking.com asks, “Are You the Julius Caesar of Sales Management?”

The perspective is consistent with many of our sales management-related posts, and suggests that great leaders share the following three attributes that are key components of engaging and motivating a team:

  1. They understand the people who are being led
  2. They lead by example
  3. They possess and exhibit a belief in the ability of those being led

See related article…

Management v. Leadership

leadership4Several posts over the past year have focused on leading people, on how leadership differs from management, and also on how both skills are critically-important to effective sales (or other) management.

Here is a thought-provoking article from Psychology Today that focuses on the concept of transformational leadership, which is defined as focusing on relationships and people, motivating them to high levels of performance and, in the process, helping them develop their own leadership potential.

The article also shares four elements of transformational leadership.

Along similar lines, Conway Management Company, a global management consulting firm specializing in continuous improvement, shared some compelling information about workplace relationships and their impact on productivity, morale and profitability!


Foundational Team Building Blocks

teamWhether you are a sales manager, business owner or department head, building, motivating and nurturing your team are critically-important components of long-term success.

We came across a straightforward article on projecteve.com that offers some good ideas for effectively building high-performing teams, which include:

  1. Create a common purpose
  2. Recognize achievement
  3. Open communication

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The Simple Phrase that Increases Effort 40%

Motivating othersWe came across a short article that we thought every sales manager, leader or supervisor will find exceptionally valuable!

Motivating and helping team members to continually improve — that is, to make changes in the way they behave or go about executing their jobs — can be difficult, as people can quickly become defensive or resistant. In his article, LEAN Practitioner Paul Sohn shares “The Simple Phrase that Increases Effort by 40%.”

As you’ll see, the simple phrase is well-aligned with perspectives shared over the years by the likes of Zig Zigler, Thomas Jefferson, Colin Powell, Winston Churchill and others…

What was the magical feedback?

Just one sentence: I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them.

Simple, but not always easy!

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Sales Management Question: Are You Interested?

Whether you are a sales manager, business executive or business owner, becoming “interested” is an important component of driving your organization’s sales and business development effort.

While great amounts of emphasis are more commonly placed on striving to become “interesting” in our interaction with others, consider the concept of becoming more “interested” and how it influences the various people involved.

As a sales manager, one of our primary responsibilities is to motivate the team. This typically involves helping sales people maintain a positive attitude as well as a belief in their ability to get the job done; it also involves managing processes so people stay focused on the right things, and leading people toward mutual goal achievement.

It is not easy work.

It can become easier, however, when we find ways to consistently exhibit an honest interest in the work being done by our sales team. And please note, this means becoming “interested” not only after the work has been done, but also while the work is being done! An after-the-fact or “rear-view mirror” approach to management can only yield judgment about past performance; but our “interest” while work is in progress enables us to influence results – hopefully for the better!

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