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The 5 Key Attributes of Effective Sales Leaders

Sales Readiness Group and Selling Power have co-produced a report summarising the findings from the 2017 High-Impact Sales Management survey. And, considering that these institutions combined have a whopping 60 years of experience in the field of sales management, we couldn’t wait to read it!

In this nine page dossier, the two industry leaders attempt to shine a light on the discipline of sales management. In it, they review the common attributes that make for an effective and successful sales leader. The real purpose of this report is to offer the insight needed to make intelligent and strategic decisions for investment in the development of sales managers. After all, it is this group who are essential to the success of the entire sales organisation.

After studying the responses of over 400 participants, the report reveals some interesting pointers into what constitutes a successful sales leader. A topic we’re always eager to learn more about.

So, let’s jump right into it. What exactly are the 5 attributes of the most effective sales leaders?

1. They Spend More Time on Sales Coaching:

When Sales Readiness Group and Selling Power looked into the priorities of sales managers at high-impact sales organisations, they discovered that these leaders spent more time coaching their team than those sales managers in lower performing organisations.

These top-tier managers consistently spend time openly discussing the current performance of reps as well as the career opportunities available to them. They take time to address strengths and weaknesses, providing personalised feedback and coaching.

Surprisingly, the report highlights that 73% of frontline sales managers have received little-to-no training on how to coach effectively (we wonder what results could be expected if these sales coaches were appropriately backed-up…)

 

sales leadersHow do modern leaders coach their team to success? 

 

2. They Offer Clear Feedback and Set Expectations around KPIs:

As is to be expected, the most effective sales leaders give high priority to managing sales performance. In order to do this, they concentrate on clearly defining and communicating performance expectations to their salespeople and offer them regular feedback.

They keep a close eye on their top pipeline KPIs and will ensure that their reps are participant in achieving these metrics.

 

 What KPIs should we track? 

Download this free checklist and discover the modern approach to sales KPIs that will increase your sales performance.

ACCESS  THE  KPI  CHECKLIST

 

3. They Play a Key Role in The Hiring Process:

 Successful frontline sales managers are typically highly proficient in recruiting and sourcing top candidates. They usually stick with a reliable and repeatable recruiting process that produces successful and qualified candidates. They will have designed role specific interview questions that align to desired skills and personal qualities. They will also take part in producing job profiles and follow-through on the on-boarding and training of new hires.

 

attributes of modern sales leaders.jpg 

4. They Earn their Sales Organisations’ Trust and Respect:

Respect and trust are paramount in this field. Top-performing sales leaders are renown for fostering an environment of transparency within their business, clearly communicating goals with the team and identifying the motivators of individual sales reps.

They make important decisions based on analysed data, make unpopular decisions when necessary and adapt their leadership styles based on the situation.

5. Top-tier Organisations Invest in Their Sales Managers:

The most surprising results of these surveys were around budget for sales management investment. 32% of high-performing sales organisations invest $2,000 or more on training and developing their frontline managers, compared to only 7% for low-performing sales organisations. Among all respondents, 45% had no budget at all allocated for sales manager training.

 

Conclusion

The results of the survey made it clearly apparent that the most successful sales teams are those headed by skilled sales managers that will support, encourage, coach and train their team to win deals.

High-performing sales organisations are staffed with sales managers who spend a larger degree of their time on sales coaching. More than 65% of high-performing sales organisations spend more than 20% of their time coaching salespeople.

However, a staggering 45% reported to not have sufficient resources or budget for the development of their sales managers, leaving their sales leaders to fend for themselves and their teams alone. Something that clearly represents a missed opportunity.

This report suggests what we at CloudApps firmly believe, that the success of the entire sales organisation relies heavily on the performance of the sales leaders. We’ve been empowering sales leaders to serve their sales team by arming them with behavioural insight and real-time coaching capabilities that provide them with the necessary tools to drive their teams to success.  You can watch a short demo of our product here.

Looking to support your team further with some tailored coaching? Read our 5 tips to highly effective coaching.

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