The best sales organizations have strong leaders who exercise control and establish the code of behavior that all team members must abide by. They employ their experiences to determine strategic direction and coach team members individually. Most importantly, they know how to keep the team on track and focused on winning.
What separates high-performing sales leaders who exceed their quota from under performers who miss their quota? What do the great ones focus on?
Target fixation. The best sales leaders are target and deadline driven. They block out distractions and compartmentalize negative news. They keep their team focused and moving forward with a sense of urgency, regardless of the circumstances.
Command instinct. High-performing sales managers consistently measured and held their sales professionals accountable against their quota. They establish an environment creating the peer-pressure and attention-seeking environment that eliminates complacency. Overachievers receive praise, while underachievers are admonished or ostracized.
Hiring ability. High-performing sales managers focus on hiring salespeople who are skillful builders of relationships, are persuasive, and have a reservoir of experience they use to control sales cycles.
Sales intuition. Sales is a mentorship-based profession, and a key differentiator of great sales leaders is their ability to dispense tactical sales advice and add value during customer meetings.
Control orientation. The best sales managers closely monitor and strictly enforce a sales process to control the daily behavior of their sales teams.
Coaching adaptability. Great sales leaders understand that there is a diversity of selling styles by which salespeople can achieve success. Therefore, they don’t employ a one-size-fits-all coaching style. High-performing sales managers have a wider range of coaching adaptability.
Strategic leadership. All sales leaders are battlefield commanders who must devise the organization’s sales strategy to defeat the competition. This requires plotting the best course of action to maximize revenue using the most cost-effective sales model. Great sales leaders possess the knowledge to correctly deploy field or inside salespeople, to segment the market into verticals, and to specialize sales teams by product or customer types when necessary.
Per a Harvard Business Review study 69% percent of salespeople who exceeded their annual quota rated their sales manager as being excellent or above average.
What separates high-performing sales organizations from average and underperforming sales organizations?
1. Sales teams think the quality of their sales organization is higher than average.
2. Employ a more structured sales process.
3. Hold their team members to a higher level of accountability.
4. Not afraid to aggressively raise year-over-year annual quotas.
5. Quicker to terminate underperforming salespeople.
The best of the best have strong leaders who exercise control, monitor team performance, and establish internal processes for all team. They hire talent of such high quality that it challenges the more tenured sales team members to continually perform at the highest level. In addition, weaker sales team members who cannot contribute their revenue share are quickly removed. While the company’s goal may be to go public or reach certain revenue milestones, the greatest sales organizations are on a never-ending mission to prove to the world that they are the best.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!