To continuously improve and grow in our chosen profession as sales leaders we: listen to webinars, read books, follow other sales and business leaders on social media, attend training classes, join professional organizations and talk to industry and professional peers.
Along the way, there's always that one piece of advice that stays with us. This year, I asked these six accomplished sales leaders to tell me about the best sales management advice they've ever received. Here were their responses.
"Sales leaders serve both customers and your sales team. Sales leaders must make every effort to stay as close as possible to the front line, facing and meeting with customers as well as the sales team. Sales leaders must constantly view the environment they are creating and the culture they are fostering from both the customers position and the sales person's view point. It is a delicate and ongoing balancing act. Bottom line... always be listening."
SVP Sales and Business Development, Caliper
Objective, accurate employee assessment instruments.
"It's all about sales results. But if you just focus on sales results, you might not get there. Know what causes sales, what causes that order to happen. If I can understand that, then I can measure, monitor, and coach to raise the expectation of that behavior, in turn getting the sales result."
VP of Sales, Kenseal Construction Products, A Division of A.H. Harris
Innovative solutions in waterproofing, glass and glazing, restoration, and building envelope.
"Assuming you are aligned in your goals and objectives, whenever possible, have a collaborative relationship with your rep by working with them as opposed to dictating and mandating."
VP of Sales, Xactly Corporation
Cloud-based incentive compensation solutions for employee and sales performance management.
"You don't have all the answers. Always be seeking the advice of others. When possible incorporate the advice of others into your work, especially advice from the people actually doing the work. People never disagree with their own words."
North America Sales Trainer, HomeAway
Vacation rentals available to travelers through our online marketplace.
"One of my earliest mentors when I was taking on my first management role told me something that has always stuck with me. I know it's a pretty common saying but at the time I had never heard it. He told me to, 'Always be a duck. Calm on the surface even when padding a million miles per hour under the water.'"
Chief Revenue Officer, PureB2B
Lead generation and data provider that connects marketers and buyers
"It is essential to listen to your salespeople and understand that each person is different. You need to manage each person according to their specific needs and personality in order to communicate your expectations effectively."
National Sales Manager, GIE Media, Inc.
Marketing and communications business-to-business media.
A big thank you to Frank, Ken, Mike, Brian, Christopher and Matt for giving my question serious thought and sharing your advice with my readers. I appreciate it very much.
Have a wonderful holiday season!