Sales leaders often achieved their position based on their individual success and personal attributes. But when their role shifts to motivating and inspiring teams, improving attitudes, focusing on long-term vision, and helping initiate change, sales leaders’ mindsets need to shift as well. For a better understanding of leadership mindsets, we turned to Leah Clark, Senior Director of Leadership Development at GP Strategies. The company’s research on mindsets looks at what it takes to bring these leadership attitudes and their associated behaviors to life. Mindsets are a particular way of thinking, shaped by attitudes and opinions, that guide and influence the actions we take. Clark said their research has found that the following four mindsets are particularly important for leaders to establish.
Last week, I surveyed 53 sales managers, asking them, among other things, what essential skills their top-performing salespeople possess. Okay, it wasn’t an actual survey. Our team at SRG recently completed rolling out a sales training program from a large sales organization, and I was reviewing my notes from interviews I had with frontline sales managers as part of the customization process. As I reviewed these notes, I started noticing trends.
“I think that’s what it’s all about: embracing change and being brave.” While this line is very applicable to the events of this past year, it is actually taken from the Apple TV+ series “Ted Lasso.” The comedy is about an American football coach who moves to England after he’s hired to manage an English Premier League soccer team. Though the premise is somewhat absurd, his leadership philosophy struck a chord with me.
Managing your team’s sales pipeline is both an art and a science – and that’s why it’s one of the most challenging aspects of sales management. At the heart of this challenge are differing perspectives as to what constitutes a healthy pipeline.
Early in the sales process, typically during discovery, it’s critical to learn as much about your customer’s issues, concerns, problems, and desires as possible. The better you understand your customer, the more effectively you’ll be able to position your solution as a way of addressing their needs. But often, during a discovery call, customers are reluctant to share information, or they give incomplete answers to your questions.
Hiring isn’t an exact science. Sometimes you think you have identified the perfect sales candidate, and it doesn’t pan out. Other times you aren’t quite sure whether the person will be a fit, and it does work. But within the high-stakes challenge of building a world-class sales organization, there are four things you can do to decrease uncertainty and increase your success rate.