Have you ever been promoted to a sales leadership position and felt unprepared to handle the new challenge? Or perhaps you’ve seen star salespeople in your organization get promoted, and struggle with their new leadership roles.
While these individuals have a thorough understanding of sales, it takes a whole different set of skills to lead a sales team to success. The game suddenly changes from an individual, target-driven one to a team-driving effort.
If the transition isn’t well managed, what follows is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. The sales department loses its top salesperson, and the company’s leadership team now has a leader whose skills might not be a good fit for their new responsibilities.
For the salesperson-turned-sales-leader, it’s frustration at every turn. They are used to closing deals and hitting success, and now suddenly, they find themselves unable to explain why their department isn’t meeting its targets.
This article serves two purposes: First, it will help you reflect on whether or not you have transitioned smoothly from your sales role to a sales leadership role. Secondly, as an owner or director of your organization, it will help you realize if anyone on your sales leadership team might need to work on their leadership skills.
The truth is that the instincts that make a salesperson great can be, in many ways, crippling for a sales leader.
It’s no longer just aggressive target-chasing and keeping clients happy. Sales leaders need empathy. They need the skills it takes to support a whole team of individuals to go out and perform like they did.
These sales superstars might be great at externally-facing client conversations, but when it comes to talking to, coaching and developing their teams, they fall short.
They don’t spend the time nurturing their team, rarely make the time for one-on-one meetings to check on their team members’ performance and support them through their challenges.
Most meetings and conversations are more about numbers and targets, and less about the people that are meeting those numbers and targets.
For many top salespeople, taking control is an instinct. These sales superstars are used to holding the reigns when it comes to sales conversations, and they often step in and take over a client conversation being lead by a team member.
While they are doing this in the best interest of the business, it demonstrates a lack of confidence in their team. This clips their wings – it prevents a team member from learning and growing as a professional.
All in all, this particular behavior can stir a few negative sentiments internally, and reflects poorly to clients, too.
Many top salespeople approach targets, results, and performance on a 30-day cycle. For a sales leader, that short-sightedness could prove negative.
Some salespeople will go the extra mile and do what it takes to close a deal but fall short on delivering that same level of service after the sale has closed. This kind of DNA could lead to a sales team full of over-promisers and under-deliverers.
Most successful salespeople, although they might be a part of a team, operate as solo powerhouses. They’re used to getting out there, firing up the conversation and closing a deal all by themselves.
They’re quick to respond to client requests, revise quotes, raise orders and get things done to move the sale process along. What they might not be good at is long-term strategic thinking. They might not be proactive leaders who see a problem long before it comes.
While all good leaders will always have one eye on the target, they focus on ‘how’ just as much as they focus on ‘how much’.
A great salesperson is often driven by targets and numbers, and it might be difficult to switch this key motivator off and focus on team-building, motivating and helping the team stay in touch with the bigger purpose that their organization is serving.
As Simon Sinek says, people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. A good sales leader will always keep that ‘why’ fresh in their team’s minds, rather than just chasing numbers.
But don’t get us wrong, some of the world’s best sales leaders were once target-driven salespeople themselves.
These are just a few common pitfalls that many sales leaders fall into when they take over their sales leadership roles. The key lies in identifying these challenges and addressing them.
Provide your sales leaders the right kind of coaching and training to develop and hone the skills they need to be good leaders. Provide them with the tools to share their wisdom, experience, and expertise to drive their team to success.
A new role with new responsibilities can be overwhelming. Guide them into it, have open conversations with them about their strengths and the challenges they are likely to face. Give them the time to adjust to the new hats they will be wearing.
It’s crucial to give leaders the freedom to make changes in their department as they see fit. They shouldn’t feel pressured to prove themselves, and make drastic changes just because of that, nor should they be afraid to introduce new ideas. It’s all about maintaining a balance and giving them the room to take responsibility.
Providing sales leaders with these tools and support, in addition to their already-proven stellar sales acumen, could prove to be one of the most significant factors behind your sales team’s success.
Your turn now: Have you successfully transitioned into a star sales leader or watched someone in your organization make the switch? Write to us about the transition, and how you or they managed and overcame the challenges that came with it.
As a professional we have the opportunity to doing so many things other than selling. When we are in business, we can get busy with paper works, and many things other than reading, driving our business forward through activities that bring sales wizard. Now if you are in selling and you are spending the time on anything other than the activities to bring with the sales wizard, how much that costing you..? if you are working for yourself or if you are working for somebody else..because,if you spend your time with the wrong activities you can automatically feel the difference right here in your pocket. So here is just some basic activities that you as professional could be doing and you proud to be one of the more of one versus the others so that you are able to achieve the results and your goals fast and also even easier..
So what are the different tasks that sales professionals should be doing..? Here we go..the first one is Prospecting, means looking for opportunities. Once you find the opportunity, the next thing is you have to be doing what we call Qualifying, is to get identified by the very decision makers you got understand what are their goals..challenges..who has most power within the whole decision making process who can influences so you got visible for the various people in sign. Next is Proposal writing, in which you are gonna taking the time to writing the proposal and then there goes to submit the proposal and leads the last phase which is Negotiation.
Now if you can either be Prospecting, qualifying, writing proposals or negotiating work..which should be doing more? Should you spend same amount of time on the four..or should you spend one of them have more prior over the other..? Now to meet very obvious, for example the keys; What is the one ction that i can take to help bringing the revenue the fastest. Now it just not for you but its for your company, that cash kept be better use than staying out of the company. The one thing that makes the biggest difference in anything that we can do is the last one negotiation phase, because once you negotiate that within a little bit of time will happen and you will know if its in or out. Now ofcourse, you will get negotiate if you haven’t done the other three parts correctly. So once you done that, inorder to keep the pipeline filled up you get up do some prospecting, do some qualifying and then do some proposal writing is whether you or your team is doing that..so that you can submit the proposal and get to the neggotiation phase. How much time should you spend depends upon what is your strategy and current health of your pipeline, may 30% or 40% on qualifying and others as per your weightage. Whatever it is you got to decide what is that alternator for you. However the main element that you will gettting out of this is which you can decide how to direct your time in ternary, but we can meet the priority which should show up your priority is ofcourse drive the activity that gonna help you to get the sale. So you can enjoy in the result of that..right! and till next time make more sales..
Watch the quick video..
What’s the best way to allocate your time to develop your sales team members?
The answer is completely different from what you might think!
Watch this 2min video and find out…
Helping you sell more, sell faster and sell profitably
Normally, there are Two simple styles to lead your sales team to the next level.
Which one are you?
Watch this 2min video and find out!
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