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Are you building a world class sales organization or just getting deals?

In the last few years we have talked to hundreds of sales leaders.  Some are pretty darn good while others just “think” they are good.  Here is the funny thing that we notice.  The sales leaders that are really good are the ones that are always looking to improve further.  They want to hear what the best are doing, want the latest tools and have this self-awareness about them that makes them continue to develop their own skills.  The sales leaders that “think” they are good are the opposite.  They’ve “got everything under control” and consider themselves to be great coaches and leaders but do very little to continue to improve.  How does this happen?  I’ve got a few theories:

  • They are arrogant – I know this one.  I was there about 15-20 years ago.  I was a good rep, got promoted to leadership and just assumed I must be good.  However, I had no clue.  Luckily, I got help.
  • They are hitting the numbers – success covers all kinds of warts.  However, hitting goals does not necessarily mean they are doing a good job.
  • They don’t know what good looks like – it is easy to think you are doing a good job when you have nothing to compare it to.  Big companies have solid training and development programs, but small and mid-sized companies do not.  Therefore, even experienced sales leaders never get exposed to all the things that high performing sales leaders do day in and day out.

The highest performing sales leaders do so much more than just help close deals.  Here are just a few examples of what the best of the best consistently do:

  • Hold formal, structured one-on-ones to hold reps accountable to specific goals and milestones - not just have an “open door” policy.
  • Develop the skill sets of each rep on their team by picking one or two things to work on each month or quarter, then spend time with them to make sure they are making progress.
  • Put together strategic plans of how they will achieve sales growth, then work with reps to boil those plans down to something the rep can execute.
  • Notice when reps perform desired behaviors, then recognize them and reward them.
  • Build high-performing teams through well-defined selection and onboarding processes.
  • Communicate effectively with the executive team so they can support them and manage the business more effectively.

In short, they are always doing something to make their team better, not just closing deals and reporting results. If you would like to learn more about how your sales leader can learn how to be the best, contact Judd Anderson at Pivotal Advisors at 952-226-3388 or janderson@pivotaladvisors.com.

About Gary Braun

Gary is a founder and co-owner of Pivotal Advisors. He has worked for 20+ years as a salesperson and sales leader. Gary has been a guest speaker for many groups such as Vistage, Allied Executives, CEO Roundtable, Sales Management Association, and more. If you want to find out more about Gary check out his profile here.
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