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The Leadership Skills You Need to Run a Sales Team

The Leadership Skills You Need to Run a Sales Team

One of the most crucial parts of any sales team is a leader who is effective in their role.

Sales leaders have many responsibilities such as developing and implementing sales strategies, making short and long-term goals, and helping their teams in becoming the best sales people they can be.

Sales leadership coaching is about teaching the leadership skills and strategies needed for a VP or team leader to be successful in their role. However, there are fundamental skills that are critical for any leader to understand.

These skills not only contribute to making them a more effective leader in general but can directly translate into the success of their sales team. From communication and relationship-building to strategic thinking and flexibility, the following skills should be taught to anyone entering a leadership role, especially to one in sales:

Effective Communication

Communication is critical in ensuring everyone is on the same page. Effective communication involves a leader making sure that everyone has a mutual understanding of what their goal is and how to accomplish it. Skilled communicators are also honest (i.e. not misleading anyone or withholding information) which includes applying proper feedback, while still being constructive.

However, capable leaders will not only know what to say, but how to listen to their team. This involves allowing a team to have open discussions, asking questions, bringing up issues, and hearing their ideas, ultimately making sure everyone knows that they will be heard.

Relationship Building:

A disconnected leader in charge of a disjointed group of what are essentially strangers can cause significant problems in the short and long run. Teams that are connected with each other combined with a leader who actively engages with them while promoting a positive environment can go a long way. Doing so will facilitate trust, encourage open communication, and basically make the entire team run more effectively. This involves taking an interest in each member of the team, providing specific feedback and support to those members, and treating each with respect. These are the characteristics of a leader that a team wants to follow.

Flexibility and Adaptability

An effective leader understands that not everything will go according to plan and will be adept at adapting to any unforeseen challenge. Curve balls can include a previously effective strategy stops working or they find themselves in a compromising position that is out of their hands. Effective sales leaders know how to work around these scenarios and push their team forward.

However, a successful leader must also be flexible with their team. A team member may be going through something personally or having difficulties with a new work concept. It is important for a leader to be empathetic and to – within reason – make adjustments to cater to their needs; by the way, this also applies to clients. Doing this creates a positive work environment that makes them more effective in the long run.

Working Strategically

An effective leader should also know how to effectively introduce new strategies to their team in addition to making sure the team is adhering to existing strategies that work. Leading sales leadership coaching not only teaches team leaders what strategies they should follow and how to keep up with current trends, but also how and when to implement those strategies.

Any sales strategy worth its salt will help teams be more efficient in completing tasks, resolving conflict with clients or other team members, or simply just understanding how to solve a straightforward problem. Being a successful leader also requires top notch time management skills and an understanding of what problems are worth their time. Wasting time on pointless endeavors can be the death-knell of any sales team.

Consistent Improvement

A top leader must always seek to improve themselves and facilitate growth among their team members. They must be able to understand where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

They should also actively work to improve themselves, whether it be learning new strategies or skills. A leader who sets an example of constant improvement will be well-respected by their subordinates and more successful in their role. Setting an example like this can go a long way to transforming a good, or even an average team, into a great one.