I never set out to become a sales leader. It just happened. I started my career in sales, and, through hard work and dedication, I slowly worked my way up the ladder. Along the way, I picked up a few things about what it takes to be successful in sales. And eventually, I realized that I had developed my sales leadership philosophy, which guides my actions and decision-making as a manager. If you’re currently leading a team (or aspire to do so someday), you must also have your sales leadership philosophy. This will ground you when times are tough and help keep everyone aligned with your vision for the future. Here’s how to develop your statement on leadership:
Sales Leadership Philosophy
The sales leadership philosophy provides guidance and support to sales members while also empowering them to succeed in their roles.
It includes setting expectations, providing training and business development opportunities, and creating a positive and motivating environment.
The goal is to help the sales team reach their full potential and exceed targets.
The Leadership Theories Driving A Nationwide Sales Force
Each company’s leader brings their personality and leadership experiences to their role. It makes each business unique and helps them come up with new and creative ideas.
These factors greatly influence the way we approach sales.
As a leader, it’s important to be warm and transparent with your team while also focusing on results. You should expect accountability from your team and work together to achieve common goals.
I was drawn to our company for many reasons, including our 52,000+ strong network of independently contracted agents.
They live all around the country and come from different backgrounds, but they’re all searching for the same: opportunities.
My leadership approach is to ensure that my sales reps feel comfortable coming to me with issues, but I also hold them accountable for their actions. I accomplish this by being as open and honest as possible with my employees, which builds trust and makes sure they understand my expectations.
Three Sales Leadership Theories to Guide Your Team
The toughest leadership moments are when your team looks to you for direction.
Like you guide your customers through difficult times, you help your sales reps through rough patches.
When times are tough, it’s a perfect opportunity for leaders to coach their teams. It presents an opportunity to come together and work as a team.
Coaching and feedback can help your sales people during tough times.
When times get rough, three main principles will guide you. These will keep you on track or help you to course correct.
1. The first principle is to put others first.
Are you more worried about yourself or your teammates?
Leaders, just like salespeople, can fall victim to the pressure of sales.
Great sales people are humble and see themselves as servants. They serve their customers and clients and see it as an honor.
In working with clients, I’ve seen this leadership style in action. For example, one construction firm I worked with consistently showed this trait.
This company has values that emphasize serving both customers and team associates. The sales team has demonstrated this through small, thoughtful actions. These values guide the sales people through difficult times and remind them to put the needs of their customers first.
2. Set the tone for the conversation.
My first business venture was in 2002 when I opened up a painting franchise. The concept was straightforward:
I learned valuable lessons about running a business and making money as a young entrepreneur. It was an experience that I will never forget.
One of the most important things I learned from my internship was the importance of being a leader.
Before the summer rush, we attended a training session with our franchise owner. Our instructor taught our sales managers how to hire and manage employees and paint.
He emphasized the importance of setting the tone when reaching out to people. He illustrated this by shimmying up a ladder and shouting, “You set the pace!”.
While maintaining the equipment, he would always remind himself, “You set the pace!” While doing touch-ups, he reminded himself, “You set the tempo!”.
Our training instructor told us that employees watch everything we do and how we do it. If we climb up a ladder confidently, they will be confident in climbing ladders. If we show them enthusiasm, they will be enthusiastic about their job. If we seem uninterested in our work, they will be disinterested.
If you bravely tackle a hard-to-clean area, your workers will be brave. If you carelessly wash the paintbrushes, your artists will be careless.
3. You set the mood!
As sales managers, you are the role model for your sales team. Your team watches your every action, your pace, and your tone.
During difficult times, your team members face challenges and disappointments.
Sales managers will face many obstacles and roadblocks. If they’re not happy with the way their sales team responds to these, they should take a look at themselves. Their response will set the tone for how they will succeed.
How do you respond to failure and setbacks? If your salespeople see you showing even the slightest hint of pity, that is permission to react in the same way.
Your team’s sales performance is a direct reflection of your belief in them. You are the hope they look to when things get tough.
Sales leadership is all about creating a clear and concise personal statement that will guide your actions and decision-making. By following these 5 steps, you can develop your sales leadership philosophy that will help keep everyone aligned with your vision for the future.
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