What is the single most crucial best practice you can suggest to someone who wants to succeed as the leader of a sales team?
For many, the solution is a surprise: develop into a service-oriented leader.
The best and most successful sales executives are those who are constantly thinking about how they can effectively support their salespeople. They are aware that when all team members have what they require for success, both the managers and the team succeed. The strategy they adopt is “you-focused.” As they connect with and assist the team, this method enables them to comprehend the group more fully. This is the only method for managing a sales team.
Maybe you’re trying to figure out how to make sure you’re using this you-focused strategy. Start by embracing two major concepts.
Your relationships with team members are far more important than your job title in the first place.
Second, those connections are always predicated on their acceptance of your commitment to the group.
Your top priority should be to instill a profound sense of confidence in your salesmen that you truly care about their success and will go above and beyond to support them. Keep in mind that you win when they win.
Making “You-Based” Sales Management a Reality
Remind yourself frequently that ensuring the success of each member of your team is your top priority. You must devise a strategy to do that. When drafting that strategy, keep in mind that one of the numerous reasons individuals leave a company is because they lack respect for the boss. Noting that they don’t respect a specific person, it isn’t a denigration of the management institution. You do not want your sales staff to go in this direction!
Consider the three team members you would most like to keep.
- How much respect do those folks currently have for you?
- Do they respect you enough to stay with you for another year, or are you losing a little bit of them with each passing day?
- Do they each understand that you firmly back them on a personal level?
- Consider this: what would happen if a competitor sought to recruit them tomorrow morning?
Also, keep in mind that having a “you-based” management style does not restrict you from making decisions. It does imply, however, that you obtain team buy-in by outlining the justification for any actions you are considering.
Therefore, be sure to consider the requirements of each team member. Directly inquire in one-on-one interactions about what you can do to support their success. Stay away from the temptation to use your position as a defense against criticism or as an excuse for decisions you make without consulting the people who will be affected by them.
Managers who rely on their position in the hierarchy to advance their own agenda or win fights invariably lose good employees they could have kept. They are leading with the title instead of the relationship. Stop allowing that to happen to you.