In yesterday’s post we discussed how certain fundamentals of sales remain the same regardless of the changes that the profession has seen over the last decade. Then we related some of the most basic principles in the form of the Ten Commandments of Sales.
Today, let’s take that same thought process and apply it to sales leadership positions.
It seems that all too often, organizations simply take their best sales people and promote them into sales leadership positions without significant thought being given as to whether the candidate has the right skill sets for the job. I have seen some outstanding sales people get promoted into management – only to “un-promote” very quickly.
Some didn’t last because their particular skill sets were more geared to individual performance than in leading a team of individuals. Others didn’t last because their entrepreneurial flare was so strong that they were not happy submitting their will to upper management – and they finally realized they were happier in their previous role.
“I have seen some outstanding sales people get promoted into management – only to “un-promote” very quickly.”
Sales leadership takes an additional set of skills above that of a sales professional. To be a great sales leader, you must be competent in the sales process and have the ability to transfer those skills to those on your team. You also must have a leadership style that motivates, achieves great self-accountability and builds a chemistry that attracts people to you rather than push them away.
All of those skill sets may be learned – if you follow the Ten Commandments of Sales Leadership.
- Whineth not: The responsibility for results rests on your shoulders. Accept it – that is why you get the pay.
- Micro-manageth not: If you have to micromanage your people, you have the wrong people. Winners hate to be micro-managed. Teach, coach, gain agreement on accountability – then let them do their jobs.
- Seeketh commitment – not control: A sales leader who can inspire commitment will achieve more than a sales leader that requires submission and control.
- Beest thou a “Tour Guide” – not a “Travel Agent”: Get out of the office and into the marketplace with your people. You will achieve both loyalty and success.
- Havest thou great vision: People will follow leaders who communicate great goals and inspire belief.
- Gather the multitudes: Recruiting and sales both involve prospecting in great numbers. Constantly look for your next great sales person. Relying on HR to find the best person for your team is risky. Gather many to find the best.
- Selecteth thou good people: Fill the needs of your organization with great people. You only have that luxury with a sufficient candidate pool.
- Connecteth with thine team: Take the time to emotionally and socially connect with your team. The chemistry that develops is the bond that achieves longevity.
- Seeketh the success of thy team members: Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
- Useth the carrot over the stick: Winners respond to reward instead of pain. Focus there and watch the cream rise to the top.
Which of these commandments is the easiest for you?