LEADERSHIP SERIES: Research suggests that Sales Leadership is the difference maker between good performance and superior performance. And how sales leaders embrace five essential roles is critical to the success of their teams. We hope you find this series of short informal discussions around sales leadership useful and thought-provoking.
An Often Forgotten – But Always Critical – Sales Management Task
As we’ve already mentioned, sales managers usually feel like they have enough responsibilities to take care of on any given day – and in fact, maybe too many. But in between customer service issues, managing a sales staff with lots of personal and professional challenges, and keeping one eye on the numbers, there is one thing you absolutely, positively, have to be sure you do…
And that’s to set the right tone and example for your sales staff.
That sure sounds simple, but it’s an understanding that, once you reach it, has extraordinarily powerful implications. It’s not enough to be a sales manager, you have to be a sales leader. The difference is profound; managers set schedules, check up on quotas, and follow-up on problems with client accounts. Leaders, on the other hand, take the direction, set the tone, and otherwise create the path that everyone else will follow.
Are you embracing your role as a leader, or treating your job as supervisory position, where you’re simply focused on “hitting the numbers” and letting things run their course? The answer to that question probably says a lot about where your salespeople are, and where they are going to be in the near future.
As the leader, you will model the behaviors that you expect your team to follow, and attract the kinds of salespeople you will eventually be working with. There’s no way around it: if you want everyone else to walk the walk, you are going to have to do it first.
You have a lot of hats to wear as a sales manager, and it’s important that you do them all well if your team is going to grow revenue, keep customers, and perform at the highest levels of service. Never forget that you are the leader of your team first and foremost, however; because the moment you stop acting the way you want your producers to, they just might stop too.
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