The Three Core Roles of Every Sales Leader
July 2019 – Issue 182
A WORD FROM DUANE SPARKS
Dear Sales Executive:
What is the primary job responsibility of a sales leader? Simple. It is to produce profitable revenue for the company.
The way to do that consistently—and to keep getting better at it—is to build a great sales culture. How do you do that? One place to start is by identifying the essential roles that sales leaders actually must perform.
I believe that the core roles of a sales leader can be boiled down to three. And, what might those be? Glad you asked.
If you have a question about how to build a great sales culture in your organization, click on “Ask The eCoach“.
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Author of Action Selling
The Three Core Roles of Every Sales Leader
Suppose you want to create a great sales culture in your company. And, suppose you want continuous improvement to be a built-in feature of that culture. What is the best way to go about it? To begin with, you must treat sales leadership as a process, one with a series of sub-processes. The past few editions of eCoach have been devoted to describing Action Selling’s approach to the sales leadership process. I have shown you the following diagram.
Now I want to dive into this diagram by describing the “three leadership roles” it outlines. These are the fundamental processes that a sales leader must get right. They provide the framework that must shape and guide every action you take.
The 3 Core Roles of Every Sales Leader
- PLAN: Planning is the process of figuring out the activities required to achieve a desired goal. Myriad plans might fall into a sales leader’s area of responsibility: business plans, forecasts, annual sales plans, compensation plans, performance plans, meeting plans, training plans, and more. When planning is done effectively, two good things happen. One, the success rate for accomplishing goals improves dramatically. Two, the time and effort needed to achieve each individual goal are reduced.
- ORGANIZE: Organizing follows the planning function. It involves hiring and retaining people, creating teams, assigning tasks, and delegating authority and responsibility. Organizing provides the framework that defines tasks, deploys resources, and coordinates activities. Your reporting structure, your process for collaboration, and your plan for skill development are all parts of the organizing function. In the “organize” role, you align your goals with the right people and develop the right skill sets within your team.
- COACH: Most managers would tell you that they manage people. In reality, they manage processes, projects, information, and problems. Coaching is different from managing. Coaching is something you do with people. It involves the actions you take while communicating with the people you oversee. When coaching is done well, it becomes a competitive weapon for your company. It provides an opportunity to make a difference every time you communicate with someone. It makes you become more intentional about acting as a leader. Coaching must be a continuous activity.
Most managers would tell you that they manage people.
And, how, exactly, do you perform these three roles at a master’s level? Look back at the graphic: The “how” is what those Nine Acts of Leadership are all about. We’ll have more to say about them in the next edition.
Our latest free white paper describes the most successful way to develop great sales leaders and a great sales culture. Download it here: Unhappy with Your Sales Culture? (Start With an Overhaul of Your Sales Leadership Process)
Action Selling in Action
Only a great sales culture can generate consistently great performance. A truly great sales culture is one in which excellent performance just keeps on getting better.
Only great sales leaders can create a great sales culture. When you are able to perform the three core roles of sales leadership at a master’s level—and you never stop working the process—that is a recipe for continuous improvement. And, when you are continuously improving upon greatness, your sales culture becomes unbeatable.
For information about how to make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.
For a more complete understanding of the best way to create a winning sales culture, see our free white paper: Unhappy with Your Sales Culture? (Start With an Overhaul of Your Sales Leadership Process)