Earlier in 2016, we looked at what it takes to be an effective Sales Manager. We explored the shift of focus from management to leadership in recent years and how that has led sales managers to bring vision and inspiration to their staff, to support their development and keep them headed towards success.
We acknowledged that recognising and developing talent within your team is a vital part of sales management, requiring an extensive set of skills covering planning and motivation, coaching, communication and delegation.
This time, we wanted to take a deeper look into the type of activity required to become this type of Sales Leader.
Four core practices are at the heart of creating the type of environment in which a sales team can reach its full potential, Strategy, Education, Feedback and Leadership. It’s a continual process, based on a cycle of reflection, communication and implementation. Applying this method of looking back at what your team has already done, discussing what needs to happen next and then making it happen, will allow you as a leader to engage with each individual salesperson and support their development as they become capable and effective team members.
Strategy: Creating a personal development plan for a salesperson will give opportunity not only to bring assistance to their weaknesses but also celebrate and reward their strengths and achievements. A salesperson who feels supported and is in agreement with a development plan will be an engaged and productive team member.
Education: An ongoing programme of sales training will equip team members with the skills they need to develop into successful sales professionals. Whatever their sales role, each team member will benefit from understanding every stage of the sales process. Refresher training and opportunities to expand upon areas already covered will prevent stagnation or loss of skills.
Feedback: An open, continuous line of communication is key to getting understanding the ‘whole picture’. Important concerns or requests can be missed when there isn’t an easy opportunity to explore them with your sales team. All feedback will help to further development plans and make adjustments where necessary. Creating an environment where team members are comfortable to open up about any questions they have, even difficult ones, cultivates a level of trust that demonstrates real leadership.
Leadership: The benefit of your experience in sales will enable you to provide top-level coaching to your sales team. You can give real-life examples of solutions to common problems which will inspire them to push through the challenges they face. Just like any professional sports coach, keeping motivation high is a key factor in sustaining momentum across the whole team.
Lastly, it is essential to implement a personal development plan for yourself. When you take opportunities to train, grow and develop as a sales leader, you will benefit just as much from it as will your team members. Investing in your own professional development will directly & positively impact the development of your sales team. Lead by example, it’s an old phrase but it’s no less true.
Estadia’s open sales training courses cover all professional levels and are all currently discounted when you book and pay for any delegate places during December 2016. For more information, click on the links below for course content and to make a booking:
Essential Sales Skills :: Was £129/ NOW £99
Field Sales Training (1) Closing More Sales :: Was £199 / NOW £169
Essential Telesales Skills :: Was £299/ NOW £269
Effective Customer Service Skills :: Was £129/ NOW £99
Effective Sales Management :: Was £399/ NOW £349