Businesses need Sales Leaders more than Sales Managers

| 6 minute read
Author Scott Noble
As a sales leader, your role is a balance between managing, leading and coaching your sales team to success. It's your responsibility to find this balance, but we know it's not always easy to do.

Do you want to get the most from your team? Below we explain how you can move beyond sales management so you can really get the best from them.

Lead the Way

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way - John C Maxwell

As a manager, it's your job to communicate the objectives of the business. This includes showing your team how they fit into the master plan. You need to step up. Become more than a salesperson — be a leader. Work strategically to ensure your team can contribute to the success of the business, and then model how you expect them to do this.

Clear & simple communication is key here. Break down long term objectives into achievable, daily goals for each member of the team. Set yourself goals too, and be accountable. Encourage friendly competition within your team, and get involved yourself. It can be tempting to stay away from the action, to sit behind your desk and direct your team to success. But you'll get a lot more respect — and, consequently, results — if you're right there with them.

Build a Strong Team

We've already mentioned how getting involved helps earn your team's respect. But it's worth repeating:

The buy-in of your team is critical to achieving success. Another way to do this is to invest in their development. Act as a coach and a mentor, as well as a manager, and you will build trust with your team. Make it clear you care about them — you want them to learn, grow and have success in their own careers. 

A team is only as strong as its weakest link. and it's your responsibility to develop and strengthen their skills. Whether through your own coaching, or by supporting development with external training, upskilling your team can strengthen and enhance performance.

Listen, Motivate and Inspire

Any salesperson knows that success in sales comes from listening and empathising with their customers. The same goes for leading a sales team. If you take the time to listen to your team, you'll find them more engaged and more willing to go the extra mile for the business.

Your team are the ones working on the frontline of the business. They're usually the first to know when something isn't working in the right way. Listen to them, and value their input — chances are they have a good idea about the changes that need to happen to get results.

Nobody wants to work under a tyrannical manager who barks orders from behind their desk. Be approachable. Your job as a leader is to motivate and inspire your team to achieve great things. A collaborative environment gives your team the chance to be more involved, more creative and more confident in their ability.

Improve Every Day

A strong leader hunts for opportunities to continuously improve. Encourage and nurture your team to do the same. The first steps involve building a robust team with strong foundations and establishing your sales processes. After this, the changes you can make become smaller — but that doesn't mean they're not significant.

The notion of 'marginal gains' is about finding multiple, small improvements. These improvements, when added together, significantly impact the business.

How Can You Improve as a Leader?

The fact you're reading this shows you're already thinking about your own personal development.
There are a wealth of resources out there that can help you improve further in all aspects of your journey as a manager and sales leader. Use them — and make small-but-significant changes to your own leadership practices regularly.

To help you level up your skills even faster, take a look at our sales training package for developing sales leaders.

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