How To Build a Sales Leadership Philosophy 🥇
Are you unsure of what great sales leaders and pricing teams do differently to achieve superior results? Many aspiring leaders that are incredibly qualified get hired for the job but struggle to deliver more complex business outcomes in challenging commercial positions. What most companies and individuals don’t realize is that credentials and experience don’t always necessarily translate into a good leader. In this article, we’ll be defining the sales leadership philosophy and going over what qualities should a good leader have.
Sales Leadership Philosophy – What Is Sales Leadership?
Sales leaders are more than just managers of employees. They are meant to inspire and motivate, as well as guide and act as a mentor to the rest of the organization. Sales leaders make strategic decisions that enable efficiency in their systems.
Leaders are also in charge of creating a sales strategy and structure for success, both long term and short term. For sales teams specifically, leaders need to build a culture of support and help salespeople execute sales processes effectively. Many CEO’s in Australia actually struggle to find leaders for their teams, simply because they don’t understand the necessary qualities.
Sales Leadership Philosophy
Creating your sales leadership philosophy involves asking yourself what kind of leader you want to be. This is important to define early on since the way you answer will determine how well you can lead your team. This question will also bring you awareness of what this role requires of you.
Other questions you might want to ask when building your sales leadership philosophy include; what are the values that you and your organisation should uphold? What direction do you see your organisation taking?
Below are two guiding principles you can employ as a leader in your organization:
Leading With Purpose
Leading with purpose ensures that your team understands why you are asking them to do certain things. This fosters a culture of understanding and respect, which enables them to work better. They won’t be asking why they are assigned certain tasks or what the importance of those tasks is. Rather, they can stay focused on executing their jobs efficiently.
Leading With High-Standards
Leading with high standards doesn’t mean leading strictly. This is a way for you to inspire your team to strive for better results and excellence. What you tolerate and why can affect how your team sees you as a leader, so it’s important to stay consistent in your expectations to prevent poor habits from developing.
Holding yourself to equally high standards is important because the way you interact with your team and your clients speaks volumes about your values. If you reply to emails on time, you’re showing everyone else that it’s important to do the same. Whereas, if you’re sloppy with communication or are always late, your team will follow suit since they see that these things aren’t important to you.
Qualities Of A Good Leader – Sales Leadership Philosophy
Now that we’ve defined sales leadership and given you a foundation for creating a sales leadership philosophy, we’ll be talking about other qualities a good sales leader should possess.
Good leaders should embrace change and learn how to manage unexpected situations strategically. The business world is ever-changing, especially with new technologies emerging all the time. Likewise, buyers and customer behaviours are constantly evolving. Good leaders will know how to adapt accordingly or rebuild when necessary.
Additionally, adapting to change also involves constantly keeping an eye out for new recruits with specialised skills that may help your organisation.
Open To Feedback
Leaders need to be open to scrutiny and criticisms, especially from their own team. You won’t be able to lead change without the ability to absorb and respond to feedback. This will also make your team comfortable with transparency, which will reflect both ways.
For instance, if you show you are readily accepting of feedback and won’t take offense from those who speak up about things that don’t work, then your teams will feel comfortable doing the same, even amongst themselves.
Remember that even though some feedback may not be helpful, how you respond to it is just as important. Never be dismissive or blatantly oppose feedback.
Communication in any relationship is essential, especially in chaotic situations. Businesses tend to be chaotic, fast-paced, and competitive environments can breed misunderstandings. Sales leaders need to foster open communication at all times among teams. As a leader, you need to take initiative to speak to your employees, beyond task delegation.
Communicating involves getting to know your employees, and making the effort to understand their values and goals. This can help you align your goals with theirs, as well as the organization. In order for any substantial improvement in progress to happen, everyone has to be on the same page. Therefore, with any other quality comes the need for effective communication.
Strategic And Forward Thinking
Having the expertise to manage employees in your field is definitely essential, however, it will be useless if your thinking stagnates. Leaders need to have foresight into what the company needs, and the ability to strategise and build structured plans that can carry out their ideas.
There’s no way to progress and innovate if your long term thinking only extends to a year. True change-makers can think forward from five to ten years into the future and build metrics to track the progress that far.
This may be the last thing you think about in terms of leadership qualities, however, it’s actually incredibly important to have the emotional intelligence to go along with the rest of the qualities listed here. Without emotional intelligence, there’s no follow-through connection with your team. You can talk to them all you want and plan as much as you can, but the ability to connect with the emotions of those around you is key to truly being able to listen and empathize with them.
This all ties in with the ability to be open to feedback, social and self-awareness, as well as empathy. Despite all the media depictions of stern leaders, the ability to empathize is one of the most important and human qualities a leader can have. You gain another level of respect for being able to understand when an employees numbers aren’t great because of personal problems, and an even higher level when you recognise that perhaps they need help or time off.
In summary, a sales leadership philosophy is made up of many aspects. Some are expected, and other cases are unexpected. The true key is to be able to find your own balance between interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, subject matter expertise, foresight, and insight. If you’re looking to become or hire a sales pricing leader, it’s important that you understand the qualities we’ve discussed above.
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