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Being a sales leader takes serious grit and determination. Sales is often the most competitive and high-pressure area of a business.
It’s target-driven and thrives in teams that are always hungry to chase more leads and make more sales. Sales leadership takes a careful balance, and it can easily be overdone resulting in burnout and poor job performance.
Sales leadership qualities
Sales leaders benefit from a lot of different qualities. Some of these core to the role of a good sales leader include:
It’s often not enough to just set targets and leave salespeople to hit them. Your team could be hindered for any number of reasons and it could be that the targets were unattainable to begin with.
The key to solving all of this—before it even becomes an issue—is communication. Touch base with your salespeople and give them what they need to secure those big wins.
Times can get seriously tough in a sales department. It’s up to everybody within a business to try and bring in profit and win customers, but sales teams feel particular pressure in this area.
After all, it’s their job to take prospective customers and knock off the word ‘prospective’. Charismatic leadership helps sales leaders to be great motivators and to keep up morale when the pressure’s on (not to mention make sales). It’s an essential tool in a sales leader’s kit.
Sales leaders need to be able to plan ahead. In order to keep measuring success and know that performance is up, they need to be able to look into the future and see where the team needs to get to in one, six, even twelve months’ time.
Strategic leadership and thinking also allows sales leaders to rejig their team where needed and put the right people in the right positions.
Sales leadership vs sales management
Managing sales is very different to leadership. As a sales manager, much of your role will involve overseeing salespeople, delegating targets, and monitoring performance.
But none of these things imply inspiring people or picking them up when their pipeline isn’t delivering the wins they hoped for.
This is where a leader separates themselves from a manager. You can be both, but one doesn’t automatically mean the other. Team Academy offer serious, unique and fun sales management courses, that really do separate the women and the men from the girls and the boys!
How do you become a sales leader?
A flair for sales is a good start!
By being a confident and experienced salesperson yourself, you’re in a good position to become a role model for your colleagues, not just a voice of authority.
That’s where sales leadership is most effective; by giving people somebody to emulate and learn from.
Sell well and show an aptitude for the psychology of customers and the things that keep them coming back. Sales leaders need just as much emotional intelligence as they do a silver tongue and a love of closing the deal.
If your sales team needs a hard reset, you need Team Academy. We’ll tear down the walls and inhibitions holding them back, and show them how to build something new and energising, leaving your whole team refreshed and ready to start winning again. From Sales Training courses, to Leadership Training programmes, we have got you covered!
To learn more, contact us today.