You don’t have to have the top sales talent in your industry to succeed. You do have to have sales team leadership.
Ask any political candidate, football coach, or successful businessman. They will all tell you that to improve performance and drive better results in any endeavor, it all starts with leadership.
In the corporate world, as sales training budgets and programs have waned, many senior executives seem to think when things go awry, they have a sales training problem.
At 360 Consulting, we’ve come to a different conclusion.
We would submit that the primary reason these teams were not performing as they should have been was not due to a lack of talent or training. It was due to a lack of sales team leadership.
This missing factor shows itself in numerous ways. But for today, here are seven we’ve often noticed.
Some of them will surprise you. We all know how many online posts detail any number of attributes of effective sales leadership.
These are not those! These are missing factors that offer sales team leaders an opportunity to put things right. And they come from personal observation of work on the ground.
See if any ring a bell!
Sales Team Leadership: 7 Better Ways to Lead Your Team
Poor quality of sales pipeline (poor qualification processes, lack of management discipline when approving pursuits, and failure to advance opportunities “up or out” through the sales cycle).
- Leadership Opportunity: Implement a strong sales process and enforce compliance at both the management and sales executive levels.
Sloppy preparation of client proposals, presentations, value propositions, statements of work, contracts, etc. (In other words, leadership accepting sub-par work products just to meet numbers.)
- Leadership Opportunity: Drive a sales culture of quality, not quantity.
Poor preparation/execution for major client meetings and presentations. (This indicates lack of proper sales processes requiring reviews and “dress rehearsals” And failure to enforce timelines.)
- Leadership Opportunity: Implement a strong sales process with appropriate timelines for reviews so that you avoid last-minute changes and “winging it”.
Poor ability to identify, track, and retain client information. (This shows lack of investment in sales operations, enablement, and related sales infrastructure/tools, including CRM. And lack of discipline when using same.)
- Leadership Opportunity: Invest in sales operations and tools; tie compensation to their use to ensure compliance and ROI.
Poor morale and motivation leading to high turnover (lack of appropriate/effective compensation plans and poor sales team leadership with respect to formal and informal sales recognition activities).
- Leadership Opportunity: Develop a culture of rewards that includes compensation and recognition; lead by example in terms of taking care of the people that work for you.
Overly long sales cycles and poor client conversion rates. (In other words, poor sales leadership that allows needless bureaucracy, lengthy approval processes, and overly rigid requirements.)
- Leadership Opportunity: Put your clients first. Ensure that your company is responsive and easy to do business with; remove internal barriers to success.
Lack of deep and lasting client relationships (lack of funding for travel, expenses, and client relationship development – and lack of a company/sales leadership culture that emphasizes client service).
- Leadership Opportunity: Invest in your clients from day one – let your sales execs develop the relationship and let your client management folks keep them.
You Get the Picture? Sales Team Leadership is Critical for Success!
You don’t have to have the top talent in your industry to succeed. You do have to have sales team leadership that cares and is willing to invest the time and money to do things the right way so that your sales people can do what they do best – sell.
Need help evaluating your sales team leadership?
Did any of the above observations strike a chord with your organization? At 360 Consulting, we specialize in sharing systems and strategies that work to enable excellent sales team leadership in your business. We can help you take the opportunities we mentioned here. Give us a call to start the conversation. Let’s talk!