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.
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.
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.
Sales leaders often express that their sales teams need to close more business. While these leaders may be frustrated with low win rates, this rarely has to do with how their sales people approach “closing,” but more importantly how their sales people approach “selling.” You’ve probably heard the sales cliché “ABCs of Selling: Always Be Closing” (made famous in the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross” and, irreverently, on “Saturday Night Live.”) You can imagine the hard-hitting sales rep arriving on the scene with his sales pitch to pound the customer into submission to close the deal (another cliché!). While sales professionals should strive to close business, the problem with this approach is that it is all about the salesperson’s objective and not about the customer’s needs and priorities.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted B2B sales teams, but what happens next? As we begin to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, is the significant move to virtual selling going to accelerate? Or will things revert back to the pre-pandemic “normal” of primarily in-person selling? A good place to start is to understand where customers are going to work.