This week, we have focused on the difference between a sales manager and a sales leader.  Hopefully, you are in agreement that being a sales leader is definitely the correct way to go.

Now let’s talk about some practical steps that you can do to develop that sales leader skill set that you need.  As I write this, I have my personal mentors in mind and I am describing the specific things they did that made them such outstanding leaders.

Sales leaders are inspirational coaches.

  • They knew how; and they showed me how in the field rather than telling me how in an office.  They had a true passion for what we did and for me to become successful.  They had a vision for the great results we could achieve.  Most importantly, they communicated all of that to me on a regular basis.

Sales leaders inspire creativity.

  • They required results, but asked me how I planned to make the achieve the results.  They coached and made suggestions if they saw areas that needed attention – but they didn’t dictate how the work product would happen.  They asked my opinion and actually listened.  Often, they would use my suggestions and even recommend them to others.

Sales leaders build loyalty. 

  • They were consistently fair and ethical at all times.  They didn’t play favorites.  They earned my loyalty by working with me and showing me that they weren’t just my cheerleader – they were willing to work side by side with me for as long as I needed them to do so.  They went to battle for me, so I was willing to do the same for them.

Sales leaders connect with their team.

  • They spent social time with me outside of the work environment.  They physically touched me with either a handshake or a pat on the back.  They were open and honest about their personal strengths and weaknesses.  The best did not just connect with the level that reported directly to them.  They connected downward through all of the ranks in their organization.

Sales leaders are confident.  

  • They were never threatened by my success.  The exact opposite was true – they enjoyed it with me.  They truly felt that their job was to help me grow as much and advance as far as I wanted in my career.  They were confident in their skills without being arrogant.

I am very grateful for all of the great sales leaders that I have known in my life.  I hope that I have passed their legacy along to my teams over the years as well.


What was the greatest leadership trait made you have the loyalty you have now to your favorite sales leader?