In this episode of the Selling in Asia podcast, we discuss what makes an effective modern sales leader sales and what factors it takes to manage a sales team effectively. Don’t hesitate to join our host Huan Song as he highlights key teachings from Tom Abbotts chat with Elizabeth Frederick from Criteria for Success. Key topics covered in this episode include:
- Why sales leadership training is important.
- Best Practices for the modern Sales Leader.
- How to manage an increasingly complicated sales tech.
- Becoming a Great Sales Leader
- 8 Popular Types Of Leadership Styles
- Praise In Public; Correct In Private | How To Build Trust
- 7 Characteristics Of A Good Leader – How Many Do You Have?
The Importance of Sales Leadership Training
Becoming a great sales leader determines the success of your sales team. It seems natural for the best-performing salespeople to become promoted to positions of team leaders and sales managers. However, many sales managers struggle in that role because they lack the knowledge, skills, or abilities to support their sales teams as they should fully.
As a great sales leader, you focus on the “what” (vision and objectives) and leave the “how” (tactics and implementation) to your sales team. Great sales leaders are great team supporters providing their teams with the resources necessary to realize the vision. Coaching your sales team includes rewarding them for achieving the objectives and helping them come up with solutions to their challenges.
Furthermore, there are three things that a team needs from any sales leader; Guidance, direction, and energetic coaching while also continuing to lead by example, striving to be a key visionary for their organization.
With increased competition, every sales manager needs to adapt quickly and lead the team to beat competitors. It takes more than being a great salesperson to manage a team; it takes a leader who knows how to bring out the best in every single person on their team.
Learn the skills needed to lead high-performing sales teams that reach targets with our Management Mastery Certification.
Best Practices For The Modern Sales Leader
Be A Visionary
A Sales Leader has to be able to inspire people and adept at motivating people to take action. Leaders lead by example in a perfect world, so ideally you need to be in the trenches with your team. They need to have this big picture, mission, or vision that they would like the organization to follow or even a vision of how the world should be.
Set Strategic Revenue Goals
Has revenue gone up? Set some revenue targets; now, they need to be thoroughly condensed. It’s not just a matter of stating that you want to increase revenue; you need to investigate how you can increase revenue per product. When planning your strategy, consider questions such as:
- What does the CEO want to do?
- Are we going to a new country?
- Are we going into a new market?
- Aare we bringing a new product to market, to existing customers, and or new customers?
However, regardless of the targets, strategy, and objectives you set, you need to focus on filtering this energy down into day-to-day operations. From there, you start breaking that down to smaller bite-size, more tangible day to day operational goals.
Your sales team performance should always be measured against clearly defined (and clearly understood) objectives. Remember that becoming a great sales leader depends on your ability to craft a shared vision and ultimately determine your sales team’s success.
Adopt Transformational Leadership
There are several different types of leaders, everything from Authoritarian (“My way or the highway”), Democratic (“Hey, team, what do you think?”), and Transactional leaders that are more strategic, amongst many others. However, the most important is known as Transformational leadership.
Transformational Leaders transform their staff’s thinking, inspiring them with a sense of purpose and excitement. Critically now, more than ever, we need sales leaders that can motivate, inspire, uplift, appease, and console their teams – Leaders that can make people feel good right now.
Support Your Team
Every modern sales leader should be asking their team these two questions every single day. Number one is often a variation of:
- Do you know what your objectives are?
- Do you know what you’re supposed to do?
- What are the top three things you’re focusing on today?
- Do you know what your objectives are?
The second is:
- Do you have the resources to meet those objectives?
- Do you have everything you need to meet those objectives?
If your team doesn’t have all the resources they need, it’s their responsibility to tell you. Crucially, however, there has to be an element of warmth, caring, and compassion to ensure a confident performance from your team.
The Modern Sales Leader & Technology
People ask me all the time, “Hey, Tom, what’s the best CRM platform?” I say, “Good question.” The answer is the one that your team actually uses. At the end of the day, they’re all great. They all have some great bells and whistles and some limitations, and some customization elements but don’t get fixated on that.
If you’re in B2B sales, in particular, make sure that your team is very active on LinkedIn and using it for prospecting, researching customers, and nurturing leads.
Slack, for example, is vital for communicating and sharing, and collaborating with your team. It’s a beautiful platform we use, and you can set up all these different channels based on specific topics.
Also, Whatsapp is excellent for sending quick messages, voice recordings, and video recordings to your prospects and customers.
The tools are there, but the problem isn’t the digital tools; the problem is the people. It’s always us humans that tend to mess everything up.
We’re either not using something crucial, not using it properly, or using the wrong one entirely. So, if your tools aren’t proving to be effective – it actually comes down to a communication failure at every level.