25 Feb How to be a Great Sales Leader
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”
How to be a great sales leader
Your team will be looking to you as their manager for guidance and strength. It is easy to be a sales leader and be strong when your conversion is high, your team are confirming high-revenue enquiries and you are hitting your budget. However as in most jobs sometimes things won’t go the way you or your team members want it to go and it is the way you act in these situations that determines whether you are a great sales leader.
What is a great leader?
A great leader doesn’t have to be a manager. You can be a great leader in any position. This is someone that doesn’t demand respect, but it comes naturally from others. It isn’t someone that is highly skilled, particularly articulate or in a senior position. It is someone that is genuine, kind and encouraging of others.
Here are a few qualities of a great sales leader. See if you can see yourself doing these inherently day-to-day. You probably won’t tick every box, but that’s ok. Work at the qualities that don’t come naturally to you in order to bring out the Great Leader in you!
A great sales leader empowers their peers.
This is someone that isn’t afraid of people overtaking them or getting more credit than them. Supporting others in their career paths is a huge way of showing leadership skills as it portrays a confidence that will automatically result in respect. People will go to this person when they have questions or are struggling and know that they will get honest, open and kind feedback. Train your team members in what they want to be involved in and empower them to take responsibility. They will be grateful, and it will in turn take the weight off you!
A great leader encourages feedback, and doesn’t take it to heart.
Encouraging feedback from others can be really hard because naturally no one wants to hear something they don’t like. However, one of the best ways to grow as a person and in your career is to ask for feedback. A great leader actively seeks feedback from others about how they act in situations, about their work and about their future potential. This feedback doesn’t have to be taken literally because it is just an opinion, but it helps to gain further insight into the opportunities to develop as a person and as a manager. Perhaps the most important bit of this sentence is don’t ‘take it to heart.’ As long as the feedback is constructive, it will have been given with the best intent.
Do you need to give your team feedback but are worried you might offend them? Read this blog post: Giving useful and relevant feedback without offending
A great sales leader collaborates with others.
Collaborating is an excellent way to move yourself and your peers forward. It may not always be relevant in your work life, however it is a characteristic that will show leadership and strength overall. The Mastermind theory hits the nail on the head when it comes to collaborating: When several people come together to achieve one goal they can achieve infinitely more than one person could on their own. (See Napoleon Hills book The Theory of Success where he talks about ““No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind].”) Collaborating shows strength, encouragement of others and determination to succeed.
A great leader is accountable and asks for advice.
It is something I will encourage anyone to do: Be accountable. Because good leaders positioned above you will always forgive and will most likely give you even more credit for admitting a mistake. A great leader is accountable for their actions, even if those actions don’t work out. When things go wrong, the only way to fix them is to own up. Then people will forgive. This will also encourage those around you to do the same, and your team members to follow suit. Asking for advice is something I have always believed in, and something my mum instilled in me. If you can’t do something, don’t understand a report or just need some help, ask someone for advice. There is no shame in not being able to do everything and fundamentally people are kind and will want to help. Admitting mistakes and asking for help are courageous ways of showing leadership skills.
Want to know how to be a Great Sales Leader? Be Influential!
An influential person will naturally affect the way people think and act, along with processes that are in place by convincing others that their way is best. It is someone that people look to for support and guidance which in turn makes them change their behaviours. This doesn’t come through dominance but through an authoritative, trustworthy and powerful nature.
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