Every high-performing sales team requires great sales leadership. But it’s all too common that a sales team doesn’t succeed because they lack a proper leader. You know the type…
“GET IT DONE. NOW.” *insert eye roll here*
The Sales Leader NOBODY Wants
How many reading this right now have experienced a boss, not a leader, but a BOSS. Someone who just demands, tells, and yells with no rhyme or reason — just sitting behind a desk, barking orders all day, everyday?
How exhausting is it? How does working in this environment impact your mental health? Often, people get promoted because they are really, really good at what they did as a “do-er” and then dropped into a leadership role with no sweet clue what it really means to be a leader. I feel for them. I do. Truth be told… I was one of those people. The teller, the dreadful boss just telling people what to do and when to do it.
Until one day I learned I got so much further with compassion. You know the saying, “you catch more flies with honey”? Well let me tell you how much truth there is behind that. Genuinely caring got me so. much. more.
After all — your sales team is made up of human beings. Each of these people has an outside life, personal things going on, ups and downs, struggles, and so much more. Wow!
What. A. Concept. To care. To lead with heart.
The Sales Leader EVERYONE Wants
If you’re struggling with your team morale, if you get a dreadful feeling before entering the office or jumping online for a meeting, ask yourself first — ARE YOU SHOWING UP AND LEADING BY EXAMPLE?
Are you a part of the solution or the problem? Let’s dive into some of the most important traits that every incredible sales leader possesses.
Sales Leader Trait #1: Bring the Energy
Imagine this; you show up to lead a zoom call with your team and they expect you to jump on, go over the task list, where you stand on revenue targets, etc. — the super boring, every day kind of stuff.
Then, one day you show up with pom poms — YES, pom poms, maracas, whistles, who cares, anything that brings some kind of hype — just imagine the stares! Yes, there will be stares the first few times, but it is your place as the leader to shift the morale. You are solely responsible for impacting the way others feel in their roles.
So yeah, maybe you have a few uncomfortable moments acting a fool, but the end result is totally worthwhile. You end up with a happy, cheerful, pom-pom-shaking team (ok maybe the pom poms are a little much… or maybe they’re just right… but you get the idea)! What an incredible boost for morale.
Sales Leader Trait #2: Provide Safety
If there is one thing I’ve realized on my journey to becoming a leader, it’s that you HAVE to make sure that your team feels safe. What does that mean? I remember a time when I had a BOSS in the past that was so unapproachable. My ideas, dreams, and opinions were shut down at every one-on-one.
In return, I shut down and stopped bringing up my ideas, dreams, and opinions. I felt like a robot and I knew I couldn’t speak to my boss in a safe room. Fast-forward to me growing into a position of leadership — I promised myself that I would never make the same mistakes that boss made. I would make my team feel safe, I would make them feel appreciated, I would make sure they knew that I heard their opinions.
Building a safe environment within with your team is beyond important. Allowing yourself to be their sounding board and biggest cheerleader will create a place of safety so that you can all grow together!
Sales Leader Trait #3: Ensure Workplace and Job Security
Have you ever walked into work with anxiety? That feeling where you aren’t sure how your day is going to play out? The fear of the unknown creeping in? Let me tell you, I have been there. Do you know what creates that? A boss that doesn’t set clear expectations, a boss that never follows through, and a boss that doesn’t lead.
As sales leaders, it is our job to make sure our team members know where they stand with you and their role at all times. Creating an environment of fear and doubt isn’t what breeds success; creating a workplace that is comfortable, welcoming, and backed by an accountable leader does.
Sales Leader Trait #4: Give Transparency
“If you don’t address the questions, rumors, or the unspoken, they will all be assumed in the worst case scenario and create a sense of confusion and panic.”
I will never forget this statement made by a senior leader within a previous organization. He was so right. So true. If only more leaders could think like this instead of keeping everything a big f-ing secret.
The thing is, having the ‘elephant in the room’ without ever addressing or even mentioning it can create such a toxic environment. This wastes both resources and time because everyone is chatting about what, when, who, why, and making up their own version of the truth.
Sales Leader Trait #5: Trust is Everything
EARN THE TRUST. BUILD THE TRUST. KEEP THE TRUST.
Transparent leadership and communication builds trust. This helps set very clear expectations and an overall increase in morale and standards. If people know what they are to do within a set of guidelines, they will be more apt to get projects completed to the best of their ability and in a timely manner.
Overall, leadership is a privilege. Don’t ever doubt the importance of a capable sales leader when it comes to the ultimate success of a team. Keep these traits in mind when leading your team, and you’ll always have a winning team behind you.