Hiring the right sales leader who can coach, mentor and take your sales team to the next level is a crucial hire, but it’s difficult to sort through all of the resumes and information to identify the right one: the modern sales leader.
This leader manages with metrics, engages with content, and oftentimes even becomes a thought leader in your industry. He or she works alongside the team in the trenches, coaches the team on consistency, and forges a collaborative team that wins together.
Finding this person isn’t easy, but not finding a modern sales leader for your team is detrimental.
The Sales Leader is a high-level planner for the sales team. :
The leader’s position allows them to see trends, and adjust the plans accordingly. They’re concerned with keeping a close eye on things like how their Pipeline Inflow/Outflow is changing overtime to make sure that the pipeline continues to grow, and that reps have the pipeline they need to close deals.
That said, they are less involved in the day-to-day operations of the sales team than a Sales Manager will be.
Great leaders are masters of communication. That means they:
During coaching and communication sessions with the Sales Manager, Sales Leaders will focus the time around looking together at progress, deal flow, conversion rates, and pipeline staging.
In contrast, when meeting with the rest of the sales team, there will be a greater focus on processes and tools.
The Sales Leader will provide the team with insights that they have gained from their data, breaking down complex sets of information into easily-digestible pieces that can be immediately turned into action items.
You can’t be good if you’re not effective, and you can’t be effective if you’re constantly overwhelmed.
One of the keys to being an effective leader is being able to filter through what is emergent versus what is merely important.
The best leaders have a keen eye for understanding what work can be delegated, versus what is important to handle on their own.
They know how to rely on their Sales Manager to get them the data that they need, as well as how to coach them into leaving out the pieces that are not of pressing importance.
The Sales Leader is someone who is always looking to push themselves. They are constantly reading, involved in webinars, and attending conferences. While that might also be true of Managers, the Leader is also looking for ways to help others around them grow. You will see them spending time with the newest salesperson, as well as the most senior of managers.
Sales Leaders know how critical it is that there is constant growth by every member of their team, and they lead by example. By having a Daily View of their most important metrics, the Sales Leader not only keeps themselves on top of trends and changes, but they also set the example for their team to operate based on data.
Leaders are always looking for more and better sources of data that they can then turn into useful information. The key to being a data-driven Sales Leader is in being able to decipher what’s been measured. Expect the Leader to run numerous concurrent tests, to work closely with the Marketing team, and to provide timely, usable information directly to their team. Tools like Revenue Forecasts and Demand Generation will help the Sales Leader to guide their team toward big-picture goals while breaking down the suggested actions for the Sales Manager.
The Sales Manager will often be more task-focused. They will use the measurement information that the Sales Leader gathers to help them make changes to execution rather than planning. They will be experts in motivation and constant improvement, rather than spending their time focusing on high-level planning.
Finding the right sales leader for your organization may take time and lots of energy, but the end result is exponentially worth any and all effort and time put into the process.
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