A WORD FROM DUANE SPARKS
Dear Sales Executive:
If you want to create a genuinely great sales culture in your organization, what is the single overarching concept that can best serve as your guiding star? I would say it is this: Never forget that sales leadership must be approached as a process.
In the past few editions of eCoach, we have discussed this concept, and we’ve looked at the Six Critical Processes that sales leaders must manage. Now, with the idea of process as a jumping-off point, I’d like to share my Top 10 Sales Leadership Ideas that I believe are absolutely vital to performance.
If you have a question about how to build a sales culture that produces spectacular results, click on “Ask The eCoach“.
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Author of Action Selling
10 GREAT IDEAS ABOUT SALES LEADERSHIP
If you want your sales team to function as a well-oiled machine for producing profitable revenue—and that is the primary role of all sales leaders—then you need to focus on how that can best be done.
Here are the 10 most important things I have learned, through decades of research and experience, about sales leadership.
- The most successful leaders manage processes, not people. Good processes allow you to better manage the people who work for you.
- Until you understand sales management as a process, it will be a problem. When the right processes are put in place, sales management ceases to be a problem.
- Documented processes are necessary for achieving high-quality results. If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t understand what you are doing.
- Most people think that “Sales Force Enablement” is all about having a customer relationship management (CRM) system and a playbook. In fact, it’s much more about the processes sales managers use to prepare their reps to succeed.
- The most effective sales leaders focus on a handful of the highest-priority processes for producing profitable sales.
- Management approaches like TQM, Six Sigma, and Kaizen all get it right about one fundamental principle: Only a process can give you continuous improvement. You must honor the process because every outcome is a result of a process.
- The same process may have different outcomes if it is performed by people with different skill sets. Skill development needs to be part of the sales leadership process.
- Inappropriate processes are a recipe for failure. Forcing people to follow flawed processes is counterproductive.
- The best people can be brought down by a bad process. Fix the process, and good people will succeed in their work.
- The greatest gains from sales training occur when every employee who has contact with customers is able to follow the same sales-communications process. That’s when a great sales culture emerges.
Does Idea #10 seem to suggest that maybe sales training should not be limited just to salespeople anymore? That’s exactly what it means.
Here is a graphic look at the sales-leadership process that grows out of those ideas and some other concepts we’ve been talking about:
We’ll have more to say about that diagram in upcoming editions.
For an in-depth look at the most successful way to develop great sales leaders and a great sales culture download a free copy of our latest white paper: Unhappy with Your Sales Culture? (Start With an Overhaul of Your Sales Leadership Process)
Action Selling in Action
There’s only one reason you’re in the position of sales leader: PERFORMANCE. If you implemented these 10 great ideas at a master’s level, you’d have a great sales culture in your organization and top performance from your team. A great sales culture can only be created by the sales leader.
Why do I keep returning to the idea of “sales culture”? Sales Leaders create culture, culture drives behavior, and behavior produces results.
For information about how to make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.
Find out how the right ideas about sales leadership can transform your whole company. See our free white paper: Unhappy with Your Sales Culture? (Start With an Overhaul of Your Sales Leadership Process)