As we enter the new year, the pressure is on for organisations to finalise their company goals for 2023 whether they are ambitious or realistic, and Consalia is no exception.
As businesses look ahead, sales leaders will need to consider a few factors that may be key to organisational success this year:
- The people within the organisation – How can sales leaders lead their team to success?
- Innovation – How can sales leaders help their teams innovate?
- Being proactive – How can sales leaders effectively prepare for change?
Consider the people within the organisation
As we know, a career in sales is a very demanding job due to its fast pace and complexity. Not only this, but salespeople must be aware of the needs of their organisation and those of their customers, making sure they are continuously portraying the 4 values that customers expect to see from salespeople.
These factors can be taxing on an individual. So, what can sales leaders do to support their team and make them feel empowered and motivated to do their job?
- Have a vision - Sales managers should have a purpose-driven vision for their team that goes beyond hitting the numbers.
A vision describes the organisation’s long-term dream and should stretch the team’s capabilities and image of itself. Having a vision can also be inspirational and/or functional and may help refocus the team during difficult times.
- Look for potential - Great sales leaders look for the potential in others. They can spot those with the right attitude and have the confidence to take an underperforming team or salesperson and believe they have the potential to be developed to achieve higher levels of performance.
With these two points, to achieve future goals, it's crucial to have confidence in your leadership and management abilities, as well as the foresight to analyse and identify the necessary skills your team will need. To achieve this, it’s often necessary to undergo a professional leadership programme.
- Empowerment - Empowerment has much to do with trust and providing the sales teams with the development required for them to do their job to the best of their ability. It also requires having a professional coaching mindset.
Sales leaders with an empowering mindset accept that people may make mistakes and will provide their team with the psychological safety for them to thrive. Learning the right coaching skills is important. This can be done through a Coaching for Sales Transformation programme which will help sales leaders lead their teams through abrupt change.
- Emotional intelligence - Having a high level of emotional intelligence is an ideal trait for sales leaders to have. Understanding how people interact with each other, their comforts, and discomforts, and having a sense of intuition.
Taking the time to learn your own emotional intelligence will lead to driving higher performance within the sales teams and becoming a better sales leader. There is a lot of material online that can help sales leaders understand their emotional intelligence that will undoubtedly enhance a sales leader’s ability to lead their team.
Supporting the people on your team is of course always important, but arguably it may now be one of the most important traits of a sales leader as we continue to experience sudden economic change. Believe it or not, Individuals and organisations alike are still adjusting to the aftermath of the pandemic in terms of work-life balance. Given the current economic situation, it’s clear that abrupt changes are not slowing down anytime soon, which means it's crucial to prioritise the well-being and development of individuals within a sales team. By investing in the team's growth, you can help them navigate and adapt to unforeseen challenges, which will position the organisation for success in the long run.
source: Luke Southern
How can sales leaders help their teams innovate?
“Reducing complexity drives innovation. And one of the things that are really important for organisations now is to stay ahead, and innovation is clearly a key part of that. How can they (the company) stay one step ahead of their competitors? Reducing the system’s complexity can improve innovation.
Innovation is so important, and that’s something that sales leaders need to be thinking about.” Louise Sutton, Academy Director, Consalia.
Innovation does not happen overnight. It’s complex and takes time and effort to develop. Team members may need sales training, and the right amount of space and time to think deeply about the right ideas. In addition, sales leaders must create a work environment that encourages individuals to feel valued and that their ideas are important in achieving the organisation's goals.
This year it may not come as a shock to anyone to see targets increase while resources decrease. Reflecting on the things that were done well in the past will also play a vital role in innovation. Building on professional practice and skills while also allowing the team time to brainstorm will help to enhance team performance and overall morale.
Source: Christina @ wocintechchat.com
How can sales leaders effectively prepare for change?
“If we are focusing on the biggest changes coming into this year, for me it's coming back to the way in which we look at information and data. For example, if we are coaching, it's making sure that we are coaching to the right things, the right objectives” Dr Philip Squire, CEO, Consalia.
So how can a sales leader prepare for change?
According to Louise Sutton, Academy Director, Consalia, sales training and an understanding of the process of change are required for sales leaders to truly understand the transition they are going through as they experience whatever change might be developing around them. This understanding of course stems from sales education.
“The education around change is really important. I think through that you can start to connect people to think about their own future in the midst of all this change. What is it they want?
People like to work within their comfort zone, so how do you help people stretch those comfort zones and really push the boundaries?” Louise Sutton, Academy Director, Consalia.
Pushing past one’s comfort zone also circles back to emotional intelligence. Sales leaders must understand themselves and that everyone embraces change differently. As mentioned before, providing sales teams with the right environment can be crucial when preparing and adapting to change.
Not to be overlooked, sales leaders must link change or transformation to the purpose of the organisation. They should ask themselves:
- Why are we doing this?
- How will this change help the organisation?
- Will this change help me grow personally and as a salesperson?
In conclusion, navigating change successfully requires more than just a strategic plan - it requires a deep understanding of one's team. Sales leaders must have the emotional intelligence to understand their team, give them the necessary space and time to reflect and generate ideas, and provide an environment that allows for innovation.
It’s important for every salesperson to understand their mindset. Only by understanding this can they gain true sales transformation and therefore have the foundational qualities needed to be a great sales leader.
Self-reflection is also crucial for sales leaders to understand the change that is happening around them. By fostering emotional intelligence, prioritising innovation, and dedicating time for reflection, sales leaders can effectively navigate change and drive their teams towards success.
To hear a deeper discussion about this topic, listen to episode 61 of the Sales Transformation Podcast: What Do Sales Leaders Need to Consider Going Into 2023? With Dr Philip Squire, Will Squire and Louise Sutton.
Also, take our Mindset Survey to better understand your personal mindset and find out if you are selling to customers the way they want to be sold to today.