When you think of a sales leader it’s likely that you think of the person with the 85-90% wins, right? Well sure, that’s one way to think about it. But a sales leader is many things - above and beyond being a top producer. They understand the art of the deal in a way others don’t, and that’s what get them to the top of the heap. Yes it’s numbers, but it’s also about leadership, attitude, style and approach.
9 Traits of a Sales Leader
“Leadership is the ability to translate vision into reality.” -- Warren Bennis
Building success for both yourself and your team requires vision, being able to see the big picture, and to always be looking for a new way through a problem. Sales Leaders allow themselves to not only think differently, but they also encourage their team to.
Where there is trust, there is progress. Only a leader who is honest, ethical and fair can create a team that is loyal, honest and respectful. Lead by example and your team will rise up to your level and help carry you all to greater success.
The tried and true might always work, but can they ever deliver anything but the same results? Real breakthroughs come from new approaches, trial error and daring to fail. Striving to maximize potential beyond the way things have always been done can lead to better results, higher numbers and greater rewards.
4) An Effective Communicator
Just as effective communication is what leads to an increase in your own sales numbers, it’s equally important that you effectively communicate with your team. Being able to clearly relay your thoughts, intructions, goals and ideas helps the overall performance of the sales force and allow them to work autonomously and effectively.
Certainly gut plays a good role in sales, but a sales leader knows to dive into the data to expose what’s working, and what’s not. But they also know that the numbers don’t tell the whole story, that any data set requires a critical eye to discern the true story they are telling. Knowing the difference between being data driven and driven to do better makes all the difference to the bottom line.
Being able to think beyond the playbook is vital if you want to be a sales leader. And sometimes creative solutions are the only way to get through a crisis successfully. Modeling the ability to think past the established lines and build new solutions also tells your team that there will always be a way through to success
Understanding that a leader is only as strong as their team is vital. The ability to recruit and train a team of strong performers puts a sales leader at the top of the heap. But knowing how to retain that team is equally important. Sharing the load, being sure to always be teaching, training and rewarding your team helps create a stronger unit.
Knowing how, when and what to delegate to the team not only allows you to focus on leading, but also sends the strong message that you trust and value the input of your sales team. The leader who micro-manages or refuses to delegate is not maximizing the potential of the group, nor are they investing in the future of the company. Always be building both your team and the abilities of the individuals.
It falls to the sales leader to set the tone for everyone else, and a negative outlook will never build anything but doubt. Knowing that there is always potential, that failures are an integral part of success, and that your attitude informs everyone else’s is a sure sign of a sales leader.
J. Patrick and Associates serves Information Technology firms that are looking to improve or expand their teams in mission-critical functions, where the success of the firm is highly dependent on the quality of certain hires. If your goal is to build a star sales team, or find a new position, contact us today.