There are sales leaders, and then there are sales leaders... What separates those involved in driving the business from those who just manage a sales team?
Throughout my career I have been fortunate enough to work with a variety of different sales leaders, and as it turns out, there are some very distinct observable traits that highly effective sales leaders possess. Let's have a look at the top five:
Highly effective sales leaders have a solid understanding of their team, the business, industry, customers and competitors. They know how to identify sales trends, where to maximise sales opportunities, and have the ability to define a clearly articulated sales strategy to take them from where they are to where they want to go.
Highly effective sales leaders are 100% focussed on achieving results. They have the ability to remove internal and external barriers, create a sense of importance and urgency, and focus their team on consistently exceeding sales targets.
Highly effective sales leaders rely on metrics to monitor and manage progress - not just report on results. They have the ability to identify both positive and negative indicators within the sales team as a whole, as well as within sales individuals.
Highly effective sales leaders know how important their team is. They understand that consistently exceeding sales targets and achieving strategic goals depends entirely on the team. They have the ability to recruit, retain and develop highly effective sales professionals.
Highly effective sales leaders know that selling is a process, and that the process varies from business to business. They have the ability to define sales processes that are suitable for the business now, and in the future.
There you have it, Five Traits of Highly Effective Sales Leaders. Whilst there are many other positive attributes that they possess, these are the ones that really matter when it comes to strategic sales leadership.