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I’m not the first one to post on this topic, nor will I be the last. But, since I’ve observed that lack of leadership is a primary contributor (not the sole contributor) to the failure of sales teams, I’ve assembled my list based upon my time in leadership and individual contributor roles. I’ve worked for lousy leaders, great leaders and all in between; and I’ve had my own wins and losses carrying the flag.
Make the strategic decisions,
chart the course and LEAD,
dammit! Don’t just manage the
tactics and numbers. There’s no
autopilot here, even if you have
an experienced, successful
THOU SHALT LEAD (REALLY)
THOU SHALT HOLD ALL ACCOUNTABLE
Establish standards, goals
and metrics and hold all
equally accountable to the
same standards – evn your
top performers. (And
MODEL WHAT YOU SEEK IN OTHERS
Teams take their cue from their leader. What you
do, how you conduct yourself, how you speak
tells your team what you expect from
them. Being the first to arrive and the last to
leave tells your team you value hard work.
THOU SHALT EDUCATE
You are in a leadership position because,
presumably, you have more experience than
your team. SHARE your experience and
knowledge with your team, both as a team
and as individuals on an as-needed, but
regular basis. The more knowledge they
have, the better they will perform.
THOU SHALT EMPOWER
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Empower your team to make
the battlefield decisions they need to make not only to
close the deal, but to enhance their position with the
prospect. Nothing says “I’m a worker bee” more than
your reps having to tell the prospect “I’ll check with my
Manager” every time they ask for something.
EMBRACE ERRORS OF COMISSION
For they are teachable
moments. If an error occurs in
virgin territory, teach but don’t
discipline. These kinds of errors
indicate a training gap, or that your
reps are doing exactly what you
want – exploring new prospects
and new solutions.
PENALIZE ERRORS OF OMISSION
Absent any compelling reason, errors of omission
are caused by rushing, not thinking or even not
caring. None of these are acceptable. If you give
your best everyday, you have every right to
demand that from your team.
THOU SHALT EDUCATE MORE
Jack Welch said “Hire people
smarter than you.” How do they
get that way? My first
management trainer said “You
make yourself promotable when
you train your replacement.” The
smarter you keep your team, the
smarter they’ll make you look.
WATCH THE METRICS
But don’t lose sight of the goal in
doing so. Numbers are a means
to an end, but the human factor
can blow it all away.