Sales leadership requires the ability to influence the behavior of many people.
You are constantly influencing the behavior of your sales team by keeping your message and vision in front of them. They have to know your organizational goals. They must be completing their day to day activities. They must be developing their skill sets. New hires must be on-boarded effectively.
You have to take on the role of Ronald Reagan. Dr. Noel M. Tichy, Professor of Management & Organizations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, was writing about the communication style of great leaders such as President Reagan. He made the following statement:
“Successful leaders take a simple message and repeat it endlessly.”
Dr. Noel M. Tichy
That style of communication is a must for successful sales leadership.[lightbox link=”http://jeffcwest.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/communicate.jpg” thumb=”http://jeffcwest.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/communicate.jpg” width=”300″ align=”right” title=”communicate” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]
You must also influence the behavior of prospective clients. Sales leaders should be a part of customer acquisition – especially on those larger and more important cases. As your sales team develops the contacts in the target client arena, your skill set may be called upon at any moment. Your coaching and mentoring should always be involved. Often, even when your team has the skill sets needed to turn great prospects into large customers – your presence during the process gives a feeling of importance to your prospective clients. Making them feel important will never hurt your efforts.
You must also be the liaison in your company between the sales team, the delivery structure, and the financial management department. You are often influencing people in all departments to insure that the company, the employees, and the sales team all come together to make everything a win for your client.
The most important person you need to influence may surprise you. That is the person that you see in the mirror every morning when you brush your teeth.
Prioritize your time based on your organizational structure. Then make sure to give adequate effort in these key areas:
- Manpower Attraction: Sales leaders must always be “prospecting” for their next great team addition. A lack of focus in this area will cause you to be caught off guard when you lose a sales person through attrition or promotion. If that happens, the resulting drop in sales results will bite you.
- Manpower Development: How much time do you spend in the “Sales Tour Guide” role with your sales team? Prioritize time mentoring, demonstrating, and giving feedback about processes and skill sets.
- Manpower Communication: Prioritize time relaying simple goals and principles to your team. Then repeat.
As a sales leader – it is not complicated. Attract great people to your team. Develop those people. Then keep your vision in front of them at all times.
QUESTION: What three words literally doubled sales in the shampoo industry?