Once the strategic foundations of your sales plan have been laid, the next vital step is to ensure your sales leaders are capable of executing the strategy. Unfortunately, most sales managers simply don’t have the skills necessary to lead their team to success.
So why is there a such a large disparity between those who have the right leadership skills, and those who don’t? Most of the time it comes down to the fact that no one has taught them how to be an effective coach, improve a sales process, or recruit the best salespeople.
What skills do many sales leaders lack?
Leading sales expert Dave Kurlan says that the following three reasons are the top causes of inadequate sales leadership:
- Leaders don’t spend 50 per cent of their time coaching (and often they don’t know how to coach).
- Management is a full-time job, but many of them continue to sell – meaning sales and earning commission will always be their priority.
- Business management doesn’t have the right knowledge around what a sales leader should be doing with their time, so it is largely left up to them to define what their role looks like.
Kurlan also notes that there is also a lot of information, articles and ‘best practice’ guidelines out there for sales leaders that are outdated, incorrect and misguided. So those who are trying to upskill may struggle to do so in a way that will actually have the right outcome.
How can they gain the right skills to succeed?
Quite simply, those in sales management need to understand that there are areas in which they lack competence – and that they must seek to remedy it through appropriate sales leadership training.
However, it is important to note that not all sales training is created equal. While many touch on how to create a winning process and execute a sales strategy, they rarely cover elements such as mindset, hidden strengths and weaknesses, or most importantly – offer follow up and support after the initial programme.
“Sales training, on its own, doesn’t work. Extensive research shows only 9 per cent of companies will see behavioural changes in attendees, and after three months, 85 to 90 per cent of organisations will detect no further positive impact,” says Steve Bambury, Head of Marketing for SalesStar.
“To develop a skill set and change incorrect behaviour, training needs to be implemented using the 70/20/10 rule. But even then, if the methodology misses out on critical aspects, such as self-limiting beliefs and mindset, it’s unlikely you’ll achieve desirable results.”
Steve also notes that the science behind sales training suggests that in order for it to work, it needs to be highly customised to the unique challenges facing your organisation. You can’t take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
Join hundreds of sales leaders across Australasia
Extensive research has determined that only 7 per cent of sales leaders are elite. For the other 93 per cent who see themselves as relatively effective in their role, this may be a rather confronting statistic. But don’t dismay, with the right leadership and management training, you can become a member of the 7 per cent club too.
SalesStar’s Sales Leadership and Management Academy (SLMA) is a programme that provides professional development to become a world-class sales leader. It is ideal for CEOs and sales leaders.
Using real life assignments, the SLMA includes an extensive range of practical tools that attendees can apply to their business with immediate effect. The embedded learning structure encompasses four one-day live workshops over 12 months, a series of online video modules, the opportunity to network with other SalesStar alumni clients, and most crucially, ongoing coaching from a team of expert sales leaders.
Businesses that have partnered with SalesStar report that they’ve seen remarkable improvement within their sales teams, and it has enabled their organisation to evolve and thrive in their marketplace.
What do sales leaders say about the Academy?
Dean Shaftoe, Sales Manager for MiTech Technology Group, says the SLMA has made leading a sales team easier and enhanced their activities.
“Inefficiency is a thing of the past and we are now on the climb. Every month we are growing,” he says.
For Steve Bonnici, Managing Director of Urgent Couriers, the improvement in performance has been clearly evident in their sales figures.
“Thanks to the Sales Leadership and Management Academy we had one of our biggest years ever of bringing in new business. It has increased our conversion ratios and shortened our sales cycle.”
From understanding how to employ the right leadership style at the correct time to learning how to effectively coach your team to peak performance, the SLMA takes a holistic approach to the development of sales leaders and their team. The result? Businesses that, with the help of its salespeople, can precisely position themselves to gain maximum market share.