Sales Leadership

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Sales leadership development Tips

As a sales leader, you need to constantly strategize and innovate with your processes that will enable both the business as well as the sales team. With continuous product development and technological advancements, sales teams have been given a push from different angles to meet new challenges every day.

For sales leaders, it is required to not only understand the potential of their sales team but how they work as a single unit. One needs to keep oneself abreast with market changes and strategize accordingly.

The best way to assess a sales team is by visiting the stores and getting first-hand feedback from the customers. The bigger your organization, the more challenging it gets. Here are few tips that will give you the much needed edge as a sales leader:

1) Adaptability:

– Sales leaders who know how to adapt to every situation always stay ahead of the curve. These leaders know how to take a step back and analyze a situation at hand, assess where they went wrong and then strategize accordingly. Moreover, these sales leaders have an open mind which makes them see both sides of the coin keeping their focus on what’s required for their business model as well as the team.

2) Hiring a team which speaks in one voice:

– Sales managers hire individuals who have a sense of responsibility and can take ownership of their work. They know that hiring such personalities will work towards the benefit of the company and their sales will increase. Moreover, they also understand how to build on each other’s strength and bring out best results for everyone involved.

3) Never take success for granted:

– Sales managers are always alert to the changing trends that happen in their industry. They have complete knowledge of market competition and how they can use this to their advantage. For example, many sales teams don’t realize the importance of social media in today’s day and age. The top sales leaders know how important it is to stay connected on social media and engage with their customers on a regular basis.

4) Be ready for feedback:

– Sales managers who are able to handle criticism better always succeed in their business. They know that they need to constantly improve themselves so that they can provide the best service possible to their clients. If your team is giving you negative feedback, it’s time that you introspect and see if there is any room for improvement.

5) Know when to say ‘No’:

– Sales managers know how to control their expenses equally well as their sales. They make sure that they don’t oversell and provide the right kind of product or service to their customers. Moreover, these leaders also know when to say no to certain projects or assignments that don’t suit their business model.

6) Savvy with numbers:

– Sales managers are not just good with people but also numbers by heart. They know how much investment is required for each project and what the returns will be. Top quality sales leaders understand that they can’t just rely on one team but need to create different teams for different projects that will help them get a better return on their investments.

7) Ability to think out of the box:

– Whenever sales managers are given an assignment, they look at it from every possible angle and strategize accordingly. They know when they should take risks and when to play it safe in order to get the best results. Moreover, these leaders also know how to handle situations where there is a lack of resources and work towards achieving their goals by using innovative ways.

8) Good communication skills:

– Sales managers need to be good communicators first and then negotiators later on. They should know how to break down complex assignments into smaller tasks that can be easily achieved. Moreover, these managers need to have strong interpersonal skills as they will be building a relationship with their customers and investing in them so that the customers stick by them even after buying a product or service.

9) Always keep learning:

– Sales leaders who stay on top of their game always know what’s going on around them. They read up on latest trends and industry news so that they can focus on their own business without worrying about the competition. Moreover, these managers also know how to use such information in their day-to-day life and get more done in less time.

10) Never take a break:

– It’s essential for sales managers to keep working hard even when they are on a break. Even when they go on vacations, these leaders do not stop thinking about their company and people who work for them. It’s important to keep getting feedback from your team so that you know if there are any gaps in your system or procedure that need immediate attention.


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How to help your sales team grow?

The key aspect of a successful selling process is to understand the potentials of each member on the team and train them accordingly. It’s important for a leader or manager to have a strong understanding of what kind of training will be required for each type of learner, from the more creative ones to the logical ones, and the managerial skills of a leader which will allow him/her to motivate and train them accordingly.

Although there are a lot of training courses available where managers can send their employees for improving their skill sets, but those courses only help an employee modify his behavior in order to become more effective at work. To achieve long term success, it is important to understand that the changes needed are not just behavioral but should be functional as well.

Some of the functional areas where improvement can be made are:

1) Communication Skills-

The ability to communicate efficiently with both internal and external stakeholders is an essential component for success because even if one team member does not have the required skills, the entire team will be affected. It is important to address this issue so that each individual may feel confident during interactions with peers and vendors.

2) Personal Effectiveness-

Salespeople always face challenges when they are at work, which can range from simple tasks like doing expense reports to dealings with difficult customers. The ability to handle and manage these work-related problems will increase their morale and performance levels.

3) Managerial Skills-

Even though the sales team is expected to meet goals and perform during daily tasks, it may require sales leaders to oversee them as well as monitor their progress. This helps in motivating them as well as developing a sense of ownership among them.

4) Role Clarity-

A sales leader is expected to communicate the mission and vision of their team, as it will create a sense of purpose among members. Furthermore, they are responsible for setting clear goals that will help each member plan their activities accordingly.

5) Goal Alignment-

It is important for the sales leader to assist employees in understanding how their personal goals are aligned with the company’s overall vision. This will increase motivation levels of the team members, as they will be able to see how their individual efforts contribute towards organizational success.

6) Accountability-

Even though it is important for a manager to hold an employee accountable in order to help him grow, it is equally important for the manager to teach and foster accountability among all team members so that no one becomes a liability on the team.

7) Career Development-

A sales leader should always keep in mind that even if an employee has high potentials, he/she might not get along with the team and may instead become a liability to the organization. In such cases, managers should provide guidance and counsel employees about how they can improve their performance levels.

8) Business Acumen-

In order to survive in today’s competitive environment, every member of the sales team needs to develop a better understanding of business acumen as well as increase his/her knowledge in areas like product features, benefits and competitor information. This helps them in planning their activities accordingly.

It is important for the manager to realize that there are no quick fixes available when it comes to training employees, as it requires time and effort on the part of managers. But by using the above mentioned tools, he/she can help his employees achieve their full potentials.

Sales Managers vs Sales Leaders: What is the Difference?

Managers and leaders are two words that we hear quite often in today’s corporate environment. Though they both seem to share a lot of similarities, there are certain differences that make them stand apart from one another. In this post, we will learn about the various distinctions between managers and leaders.

1) Responsibility –

Managers are responsible for executing the plans of upper management whereas a leader develops strategies for reaching organizational goals. Managers can be found at almost all levels of an organization whereas leaders are typically found in upper management.

2) Decision Making –

Managers are responsible for making quick decisions when the time is right whereas a leader requires more time to assess all variables before finalizing an idea or plan. Managers generally need to act quickly when the situation calls for it, but they should not act arbitrarily, as that could lead to problems in the future.

3) Authority –

Managers are given authority that helps them make decisions, but they must also follow the policies and procedures set by upper management. Leaders, on the other hand, are given more freedom in making decisions because their ideas usually drive organizational change. The final decision is still made by upper management, but the support of the leader is needed in order to get the idea approved.

4) Vision –

Managers are tasked with implementing organizational plans whereas leaders are responsible for molding them into a vision that will shape an organization’s future. Managers administer and follow existing procedures whereas leaders take their own initiative in making sure that their vision is carried out.

5) Autonomy –

Managers require a great deal of guidance and supervision from upper management whereas leaders have a high degree of autonomy. Managers work within defined parameters whereas leaders have the freedom to push boundaries as they see fit. That said, managers should not be so rigid in their approach as working within set guidelines will not always be enough to attain excellence.

6) Problem Solving –

Managers are tasked with finding workable solutions to existing problems whereas leaders are responsible for thinking outside the box in terms of problem solving. Managers are expected to find practical solutions, but they should also encourage their team members to provide creative ideas that can help solve issues too.

7) Cultural Understanding –

Managers should understand organizational culture and how it affects their work whereas leaders should be the ones to set the tone for how employees interact with one another. Managers need to uphold organizational standards while encouraging a positive team environment, but they should also hold employees accountable when necessary. Leaders, on the other hand, play the role of the ‘public face’ of an organization while also setting standards for how employees work together to achieve shared goals.

8) Motivation –

Managers are responsible for motivating their team members whereas leaders are required to inspire people who come from different cultural backgrounds, educational backgrounds, and varying life experiences. Managers generally do not have any control over the hiring process, but they should always seek to hire talented and motivated individuals.

9) Vision vs Mission –

Managers are tasked with achieving organizational goals whereas leaders put their focus on driving change within an organization. Managers set out to achieve specific milestones and targets whereas leaders strive to create a culture that will drive change in the long-term.

10) Relationships –

Managers are required to maintain strong relationships with their team members whereas leaders prioritize relationship building as a part of their work. Managers need to know about the goals and aspirations of each team member in order to motivate them, but they should also be willing to go above and beyond that role from time to time.

Managers are required to develop strong relationships with their direct reports, but leaders go beyond that role by building relationships with individuals who are not directly under their supervision. Managers are concerned about the needs of each team member whereas leaders take a more holistic approach and look at how their work affects the entire organization as a whole. Leaders care about their team members AND the organization they represent.

In this sense, managers are concerned about their direct reports whereas leaders have a more macro focus when it comes to people management. Managers must strive to be effective managers , but they should also seek opportunities to develop leadership skills too . Someone who is good at management skills alone will not automatically become a strong leader.

11) Personal Development –

Man managers are focused on meeting organizational goals whereas leaders look to develop their personal skills in order to serve the organization better. Managers need to focus on growing their internal network, but leaders take things one step further by leveraging relationships with other key players within the industry too.

12) Communication Styles –

Managers are required to use specific communication styles when dealing with their team members whereas leaders are more flexible in terms of the way they communicate. Managers might be better off sticking with one style, but leaders can try out different methods and find ones that best suit each individual.

13) Influence –

Managers influence others by setting expectations whereas leaders influence others by creating a vision that will motivate people to go above and beyond what they thought possible. Managers are great at influencing the behavior of others, but leaders are better at inspiring individuals to change their beliefs about themselves.

Managers can lead through power-based influence whereas leaders might have more success using referential influence because it develops

14) Passion –

Man managers are able to discuss their passion for work with their co-workers whereas leaders are always looking to encourage others to follow their lead in terms of choosing a career path. Managers need to be committed and focused on achieving organizational goals, but they should also know how to talk about why they love working in the industry. Leaders are passionate about their work and they look to share that passion with others too.

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