Good Sales Leadership + Solution Selling = Success
Good Sales Leadership
No matter how well your sales team is following your sales strategy and applying their solution selling skills, they need good sales leadership – the key to creating higher sales performance.
Most good sales reps are highly self-motivated. But they still need direction from a competent sales manager who is responsible for seeing that sales team goals are reached in a way that makes sense. Good sales leadership keeps the team on track and motivated. And it is the sales manager who should understand the challenges of selling but, even more critical, must know how to lead and set the sales team up for lasting success.
4 Good Sales Leadership Attributes
One of the most essential positions to a company’s success is the person who is in charge of Sales. A Sales Manager is the key to driving revenue. Choose this person wisely. Sales leaders should be skilled at the following:
#1. Establishing Clear and Compelling Sales Goals
It is the sales leader’s responsibility to translate corporate goals into clear, believable, and implementable sales goals for both the sales team and each individual sales rep. Our organizational alignment research found that strategic sales clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing sales teams.
You will know you are headed in the right direction when each sales rep understands what they must do to succeed, how each team member contributes to overall success by capitalizing on their solution selling training, and how individual and team success will be measured.
#2. Developing an Aligned Sales Plan
Now that the sales goals (The What) have been set, good sales leaders must be able to create a coherent plan (The How). The plan should outline where the sales team should focus their time and energy vis-à-vis the overall sales goals. For example, does it make more sense to deepen your relationships with current customers or should your team spend more time on acquiring new target clients? Should you do the best with what you have or should you invest in business sales training to upgrade key sales skills?
These are just two of the questions that need to be answered as you create a coherent plan to achieve your sales goals.
#3. Coaching for Sales Performance and Accountability
Once expectations for sales performance have been clearly set, sales leaders need to check in regularly with their team. As performance coaches, sales leaders and managers are responsible for supporting their team members with consistent, timely and constructive feedback. When performance falls below par, there need to be consequences. When performance is high, there should be proportionate rewards and recognition.
#4. Eliminating Sales Obstacles
Good sales managers watch for ways that sales processes or procedures get in the way of effective selling. For example, they eliminate unnecessary and redundant sales meetings; they facilitate the capture of customer contact information; they ensure that information and best practices are shared across the team; and they reinforce productive relationships with marketing, product development, customer service, finance, manufacturing, and legal – all functions that can help or hinder efficient selling.
The Bottom Line
A bad sales leader can break a team’s spirit and productivity. A good sales leader can dramatically improve sales productivity. Make sure you select and develop sales leaders who lead your solution selling team to success.
To lift your sales leadership skills, download this Sales Toolkit for Leaders Now