Sales are the lifeblood of a business, and without them there is no revenue to sustain the company. Strong sales leadership is one of the most valuable assets a business can have, but acquiring it is not always easy. Does your company have strong leadership? Here are a few things to look for when putting your sales team together.
Do your sales leaders inspire?
Just watch a few episodes of Shark Tank and you’ll see the difference between someone who desperately believes in their product and one who is just trying to make some cash from a deal. You want the desperate ones on your team: the people who inspire others to believe in them and what they are selling. Your company may sell burgers, but your sales leaders need to believe that burger will change the way people enjoy food. In some ways, your sales leaders are life coaches. They must be able to inspire their sales team to be passionate about the product and their work.
Do your sales leaders appreciate?
Remember when you were a kid and adults would praise your performance in school or sports – usually to get you to work harder? Well, adults need the same kind of encouragement to feel that their efforts are being noticed. Not just compliments thrown out to make them feel good, but genuine appreciation and admiration for what they do best. Your sales leaders should be leaving thank-you notes for the sales representatives when they have a successful week. Let them take the sales team out for an appreciation dinner. The more reward and encouragement your leaders give the team, the more passion you’ll see in return.
Do your sales managers lead by example?
Keep your sales managers accountable: their team will often behave the way they do. If members of a sales team see their managers doing a slack job, they will feel comfortable slacking off, too. Complacency starts at the top.
Do your sales leaders celebrate hard work – even if it doesn’t end in a sale?
It takes a very special person to handle day-to-day sales. The job comes with a lot of “nos,” but for every rejection, a “yes” is around the corner. Sales teams have a hard time visualizing this sometimes, so make sure your sales leaders are rewarding hard work even if it ends in a rejection, rather than focusing on penalties for not making a sale. It will inspire the team to push through the “nos” instead of taking a break after a tough rejection.
When it’s time for annual performance reviews, don’t rely solely on spreadsheets and numbers to evaluate your sales leaders. If they’re good at inspiring their teams, the numbers will take care of themselves.