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Being an Inspiring Sales Leader

by Jenna Hall

Anyone can be a boss, but it takes a great deal of compassion and trust to be considered a true sales leader. To get the most out of your sales team it is important to inspire them and show gratitude. Taking the time to do this will lead to a more motivated and productive sales team. 

Build Trust

As with any relationship, it is extremely important to have a solid foundation of trust between you and your sales team. Allow them to have open and honest communication with you whenever they need it. When a team feels like you have their absolute best interests in mind, they will be more open with you. This will allow them to challenge themselves without fear of retaliation and they can start to think outside of the box. Also, once you have this blanket of trust with your team it will be much easier to give constructive feedback and the team will feel closer as a whole.

Encourage Independence

The best way to put out a flame is to smother it. No one likes to be micromanaged and doing so will only cause resentment in your sales team. Generally, people want to excel in their careers and they want to keep pushing the envelope. Shooting down ideas and not allowing people to make their position their own will cause a repetitive and depressing work environment. When you give your sales team a little bit of space you will get your return back tenfold. Encouraging independence will also allow you to have more time in your day versus playing the constant firefighter in an endless loop of trying to save the day.

Set Up Measurable Goals

This one may seem obvious, but it is very important. The goals for your team should be clear, obtainable, and most importantly, measurable. An example of a non-measurable goal is asking the sales team to increase sales in a certain location by the end of a quarter. This is a goal, but the team will have a hard time understanding what you truly want. Do you want an increase of 5% or of 50%? Once they increase sales a little, they could think they have achieved what you asked of them and be confused when you say it is not enough. An example of a measurable goal is asking your sales team to increase sales by 10% in a certain location by the end of the quarter. This gives your team something to strive and push for rather than guessing about your wishes. An additional bonus tip is to breakdown these measurable goals into smaller chunks. Identify the steps needed to get there and set mini-milestones that allow sellers to achieve small wins along the way. This provides a clearly defined and achievable path to success. 

Understand Different Personalities

No two people should be treated the same or led the same way. It is important to get to know everyone on your team and what makes them excited to come to work. Knowing what they are most motivated by can be your secret weapon when you really need a jump in sales. Just as building trust is important it is also important to have a professional relationship.  Asking how someone is motivated can be a question that you ask as soon as you hire a new sales employee or during performance reviews. Understanding how your staff likes to be led can help boost productivity and happiness at work.

Give Thanks Often

Finally, it is important to give thanks to your sales staff. It is called a sales team for a reason, it only works when everyone is doing their job and everyone depends on each other. Make sure to also give appreciation for the small stuff. Everyone will be happy when a sales member sells to a big account. But, it will mean a lot more to a person if you take the time out of your day to thank them for something small like picking up the slack when another member is out of the office. Sales teams are much more motivated when a sales manager points out all of the things the sales team is doing right rather than always focusing on what is going wrong. Being positive and showing appreciation to your team members will go a long way and it will set you on the right track to being a great sales leader.

Looking for more tips and tricks for sales managers? Check out our other posts! 

Sales Coaching Tools

Leading a Sales Team to Success

Sales Team Productivity Software

Sales Activity Tracker 

Demand Forecasting Methods

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