Sales Leadership Starts With the CEO

A Sales Leader is the driving force of growth in any organisation.  Sales is the vital cog in an organisation’s structure – it is success in the sales arena that will ensure sustainability and growth.  Good sales managers are commonplace within organisations, but it’s rare to find Sales Leaders.

So, what are the attributes of a true sales leader?

  • Target Driven: Sales leaders place a significant focus on milestones and delivering on time.  The top sales leaders work closely with the team to ensure they are always aware of goals and aiming to achieve them.  The genuine self-belief of the sales leader is contagious and inspires the team to succeed.
  • Mindset: Mindset is everything in Sales.  A sales leader will nurture and protect the mindset of their team.  They will be the sounding board and offer consistent support in the field while nurturing team members to foster a growth mindset.
  • Hiring Ability: The sales leader who achieves success hires well.  They have the field experience to understand the calibre and traits required by a team member.
  • Sales Exposure: Sales leaders have the experience of all aspects of business development and understand the obstacles and the marketplace in which they operate.
  • Systems and processes: Sales leaders recognise these need to be sustainable to support longer-term strategy. All aspects of a business have robust systems. Sales teams are no different – the more effective the systems and processes, the higher the results in turnover.
  • Coaching Expert: As a leader, you will deal with a spectrum of personalities within the team. Each will require different approaches to get the best out of them.  The ability to coach and mentor in all circumstances is the key to success in creating high-performing sales teams.
  • Strategic leadership: Sales leaders think of today, next week, next month, next year and beyond.  They are aware of changing trends in their market, and they adjust their strategy to suit varying demands.  They also have foresight in clients’ and prospects’ needs.
  • Be prepared to have a work-in-progress model: Perfection can be over-rated.  As the advert says, “Just do it”.  Sales leaders prepare to act with their team and make the required adjustments to their systems and strategies as they progress.  Fine-tuning these adjustments is ongoing in an ever-improving machine.

Real sales leadership gets the required results and, in most cases, will over-deliver.  Whether you’re a CEO or a Director, you must have a significant part to play as a sales leader.  Outsourcing this responsibility to a General Manager or Sales Manager is not leadership.  Sales leadership comes from the top of the organisation.

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