Real Sales Leadership vs Sales Coordinators
The role of Sales Director or Sales Manager is to not only manage their team but also to lead and coach each member of their team and the team itself.
Sales Directors and Sale Managers are often recruited into their role based on their previous experiences; namely they are promoted into a management role for being the number 1 sales person or they are recruited from a similar management role by an external party (most likely within the industry). In many cases, the temptation to recruit based on previous experience in a similar role outweighs the actual behaviours displayed in that previous role.
So even at the recruitment stage the candidates that actually have the capability and have displayed the competency to both Lead and Coach their teams are left out of the process. As a result, there is a tendency for those promoted or recruited to coordinate the sales operations rather than actually lead and coach them to develop strong sales behaviours.
A sales leader is a leader of others in the organisation (especially their sales team) and a leader of customers and the market place as a whole.
When looking for the behaviours that typically highlight strong Leadership and Coaching competencies keep an eye out for:
Ensuring the team uses customer insight as the major factor in developing initiatives and problem solving
Ensuring an environment exists for maximum team member engagement and optimal motivation
Always delivering mutual value to both the customer and the organisation
Showing the way with respect to accountability
Setting clear plans for the team which support company goals
Being across the dynamics of the team what is happening, what works and what doesn't work
Helping sales people develop proactive initiatives that deliver great value for both the customer and the organisation
Ensuring the team can identify and clearly express customer value
Guiding people through the good times and the bad
Being aware of each person's drivers, how they communicate and how they affect others
Strong sales leadership and effective sales coaching underpins the development of a healthy sales culture where the effectiveness and productivity of the sales team will directly and significantly impact the revenue and growth of the business.
Tips from John Buchanan, Beyond 19, Coaching Practicing Lead:
The business must support Sales Team leaders and coaches with the proper education, training and ongoing support
Leadership and coaching are skills which can be learned and must be part of individual performance plans
Active succession planning for these roles should be part of the business environment and culture
If you require any further information or would like to arrange a time to chat about a sales managers role, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org