READ TIME – 6 MINUTES
A Sales Leader is the person who fronts the sales division at your organisation. There may be one or several leaders in your salesforce who help onboard new business, handle targets and manage accounts. For inexperienced leaders, the step from executive to manager can be daunting and they often wonder how to be a good team leader.
This question is extremely justified. You’ve spent your career showing others you can do it, but as a leader, it is your responsibility to show others how to do it.
Whether you’re a fresh leader taking your first steps into management or a seasoned veteran in sales, it can be good to reflect upon our experience and ask how we can be better leaders.
Let us explore how to be a good team leader sales teams can follow.
Firstly, Figure Out Your Leadership Style
One of the most crucial steps in becoming a great sales leader is to figure out how you lead a team.
Leadership is different for everybody. There are multiple established leadership styles that may best suit your current skill set and personality.
Uncovering your leadership style is vital as it lets you understand how to approach working with your team.
Here are a few common leadership styles:
- Participative Leadership
- Strategic Leadership
- Transactional Leadership
- Tractional Leadership
- Authentic Leadership
There are so many different leadership styles and ways to front a team. It may take you some time, effort and reflection to understand how you lead.
If you’re an experienced salesperson, you may reach a point in your career where you’ve seen great success leading salespeople with one style, but the effectiveness of this style has dwindled.
That’s okay, it may just mean you should adapt your approach and discover your NEW leadership style…
Don’t Place Yourself Above Them
Poor Sales Leaders can often let the power and responsibilities of the role get to their head. They start to embody being a manager, rather than being a leader.
Positioning yourself above your team and closing your door to keep them out could create strained bonds.
If you want to know how to be a good team leader, you should try to embed yourself into your salesforce at every available opportunity.
Actively try to be involved with your team. This may include sitting on the same bank of desks as them, engaging in regular discussions with them and including them in important decisions.
Something that all greater leaders do is treat their team like people and not like numbers on a spreadsheet.
Your staff have their own lives, interests and problems they think about outside of work hours. Engage in casual conversation with your team on breaks and during downtime in the office. Ask them personal questions that will show them you care about them. Some great examples could be:
How are things at home? Are the family doing well? What do you plan on doing this weekend?
Subtle and passive questions can go a long way to creating strong bonds between you and your team.
Embrace Learning Opportunities
As a Sales Leader, there’s no denying that a large part of your job is delivering results.
Not only do you have your own targets to hit, but you also have to monitor team progress to ensure the whole division crosses the finishing line.
To help you reach these milestones, you may consider partaking in sales training to help address growth areas for your salesforce (a fantastic idea!)
Whilst the best sales training courses are detailed, impactful and tailored to your business, the thought may seem less appealing to your team before they experience the training.
Many Sales Reps have a preconceived opinion of sales training courses, and it isn’t good. Some believe training is a way for Sales Managers to put their team aside for one day and get them out of the office.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, so how should you combat this stereotype?
AvA-V’s top tip would be to embed yourself into any training your salesforce partakes in.
Not only will this provide you with a refresher on the latest sales trends, but it will also help show your staff you’re serious about their development. Seeing you present in their training will help them view you as one of them, creating a greater sense of unity across the team.
Why not take it one step further and enrol yourself on a sales leadership course to really show them you’re serious about professional development? By showcasing your own development, you may encourage them to take their growth more seriously!
Motivate and Encourage
If you want to know how to be a good team leader, you must understand how to encourage, motivate and care for your team.
In sales, lots of your working day revolves around targets. Whether it’s call volume, call time or appointments booked, your team will have numbers they will need to hit each week, month and quarter.
And sometimes they won’t hit these targets.
How you approach this situation will determine if you’re an okay, a good or a great team leader.
One of the worst things you can do in this situation is to berate your Sales Reps that don’t hit their targets. Not only will this dishearten them, but it could also create tensions that make them feel disconnected from the company and cause them to quit.
Instead of telling them off, work with them so you can understand why they may not have hit their targets. From here, you can devise a solution that will help them improve their chances of success.
Even so much as an arm around the shoulder or congratulations for a job well done can go a long way to boosting morale.
A boost, no matter how it manifests or what for, is always appreciated.
How To Be A Good Team Leader In Sales - An AvA-V Guide
If you need assistance understanding how to be a good team leader and you need some help getting on the right track, AvA-V expert sales trainers can help.
We have the experience, knowledge and understanding of how to be a good team leader and get the most out of your sales team.
We appreciate that taking your first steps into a leadership role can be tricky – you don’t have to face that journey alone.