True sales leader – if this is what you want to be, work your way to be one. It is not an easy task. In a typical sales organization, sales reps who deliver results are being promoted to managers. Once they assume managerial positions, however, they fail to become a true sales leader. Who was once successful at sales becomes miserable at training and leading. Why is this so?
Ordinarily, sales reps are individualists. They thrive using their individual abilities. They owe their success to their unique personalities and drive to succeed. These set them apart from a group. That is why when top sales reps are tapped to be a true sales leader, the result may not be as positive. Sales reps rarely document their experience. They also are unlikely to perform in a team.
Traits of a True Sales Leader
To be a true leader, sales reps need to integrate their individual sales experience into a group experience. Thus, if you want to be a true sales leader, here are the characteristics that you ought to possess:
A true leader is able to determine and measure core competencies. He knows how to identify performance metrics and apply them to measure the team’s success. A true sales leader understands that the selling process involves a thousand possible scenarios. He foresees them and analyzes them. Afterwards, a true leader trains his staff based on these scenarios as analyzed.
A true sales leader can identify the most critical competencies. He knows that training his team to each core competency is not possible. It will only achieve little results. Thus, a true leader prioritizes. He trains his staff on the most important competency needed in selling.
A true sales leader strives for a results-oriented training. A true leader discusses methods and techniques of selling not only in staff meetings and seminars. He integrates it in his everyday routine. He inspires his team members to do the same. A true sales leader takes the time off his busy schedule to developing systematic approaches to important competencies. He does so with the end in view of encouraging people to surpass his standards.
A true leader is realistic. He faces the fact that competition exists. Thus he invests on sales training campaigns to enhance the ratios of success in every sales competency. A true sales leader sets doable goals in tune with performance ratios. He then sets “benchmarks” for each competency. Skills training comes afterwards.
You can never be called a true leader unless you can transform a dismal-performing team member into a star. A true sales leader has passion to transform poor players into average and average players into topnotchers! That’s how a true leader works. He knows that he is accountable to each of the sales reps’ performance. A true leader takes responsibility for the team’s performance. That’s why he ensures that the sales reps under his wing get the necessary support tools and relevant trainings. He then inspires them to exceed company expectations and meet revenue goals.
From being sales rep, a true sales leader will emerge if he is able to do the following: 1
- Identify essential core competencies needed to succeed in selling;
- Provide relevant and adequate training as avenue for learning and professional growth;
- Gauge the level of improvement
Whenever a successful sales rep is entrusted with a leadership role, success is not guaranteed. A top sales rep may have individual values that cannot be easily transferred to the group. However, by possessing the characteristics of a true sales leader, he can come out victorious. If you find yourself in this situation, be brave to take the role and apply these tips. Sooner or later, you’ll realize that you are becoming the true leader the company expects you to be.