3 Things Sales Leaders Do

October 23, 2014 Alex Traynor

3 Things Sales Leaders DoSales leaders are responsible for leading and managing sales teams. It is their job to drive sales results. Effective leadership can have a tremendous impact on a sales team. A great sales leader can boost confidence, motivate and inspire, increase productivity, and help achieve better results. Here are three things sales leaders do.

1. Successful sales leaders build the best sales teams.

They identify, hire, and retain the best salespeople. They provide training and coaching to continue to develop talent. Sales leaders should prepare their sales teams and equip them with the tools they need to succeed. Many sales leaders got to where they are because they used to be great sales reps. Because of this, many sales leaders know plenty about selling and closing deals, but they aren't necessarily leading. They were great individual contributors, but they fail to build sales capability across their team. Sales leaders need to focus their attention on the sales team as a whole and provide effective coaching to develop talent.

When salespeople are struggling with difficult or complicated tasks, leaders should provide assistance. They have the experience and expertise to step in and help when someone on the team is having trouble. This kind of assistance will go a long way when it comes to the relationship between leader and team. The sales team should feel comfortable asking their leader for advice. When help is offered, the team will come to trust and respect the leader, knowing they can turn to him if needed. Salespeople will feel more confident knowing they will be helped if they need back up. 

2. Successful sales leaders mark progress, not just report results.

It is their job to evaluate personnel. Rather than simply reporting results that have been achieved and demanding improvements, effective sales leaders track progress toward sales goals and work closely with salespeople to ensure sales targets are met. Sales leaders should collect information about successful sales calls, meetings, etc. Leading a sales team is not about barking orders, demanding success, or blaming sales reps. This is an incredibly ineffective approach. A good leader considers himself part of the sales team and adapts his leadership style and approach as needed. Good sales leaders will look back at completed sales results and also forward to future sales goals. They will develop strategies to help their team accomplish their goals. 

3. Successful sales leaders motivate with recognition and rewards.

They know how to evaluate performance in ways that produce desired results. They know how to link incentives and compensation systems to obtain better sales results. Good sales leaders develop strong rewards and recognition programs. It's important that rewards and recognition are timely and relevant in order to be effective. There is a variety of ways to reward and recognize deserving sales reps. Reward top performers with financial rewards. Leaders should also motivate their sales teams with non-monetary recognition. Provide regular feedback on performance so those who are working hard feel appreciated and motivated to continue. It is up to sales leaders to monitor performance to ensure sales goals are met. Recognizing strong salespeople and reinforcing positive behaviour will motivate those rewarded as well as the rest of the team to work harder to meet sales targets.

Sales leaders support business development efforts and drive sales results by building talented sales teams, marking progress, and motivating salespeople with recognition and rewards. Great sales leaders have vision, communicate effectively, and encourage growth.

If you are a sales leader and your sales team isn't delivering the sales results you need, and they're not responding to your current management strategy, review your processes and update practices that aren't working. It may be time to implement a new leadership style. Make an effort to address the needs of your sales team. A new approach might give your salespeople the inspiration they need to get out there and increase those sales figures. 

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