What separates run-of-the-mill sales leaders from the amazing ones who standout in a crowd of their peers is their proclivity to engage in the sales operational activities that further the strategy of the organization.
Unremarkable leaders are content to hang out in the clouds and deal with concepts and high level sales strategy with little inclination to get involved in the unpleasantries and messiness of sales execution.
The standout ones, on the other hand, practice their art through an operations lens; they perform their standard executive duties as expected, but shine with their relentless execution focus.
They lead from the sales trenches and know it is the secret to capturing the hearts and souls of the sales warriors required to wage war in the marketplace.
Sales leaders who choose NOT to “get dirty” in the day-to-day reality of their organizations make these BIG 6 mistakes:
#1: They don’t micromanage “the customer moment”.
Certain actions require the leader’s personal fingerprint to communicate expected behavior, and sales-customer engagement is a critical one. Architecting the interaction with a customer through any touch point in the sales organization demands the leader’s personal involvement.
#2: They side-step helping others.
Progress is made by people not burdened by rules, procedures, policies and systems that prevent them from doing their job. “What can I do to help?” never crosses the average leader’s mind. Their natural behavior is to direct people rather than making it easier for salespeople to fight through the internal bureaucracy to deliver results.
#3: They delegate action they should take themselves.
The unremarkable ones think they are too busy to personally engage in matters where they alone can make a difference. It’s easy to ask the administrative sales staff to communicate corporate wishes to the sales organization, but the opportunity to make a strong impact on employees is wasted.
#4: They spend more time in their office than with the frontline sales folks.
The irony is staggering. In their office they achieve little; results are delivered on the frontline. Yet the unremarkable leader spends little time there; progress is measured in inches rather than giant leaps. Employee engagement languishes because their leader is MIA.
#5: They keep planning in the spotlight; execution remains in the shadows.
80% of their time is spent planning; precious little time is devoted to determining HOW the plan will be achieved. Who does what by when never gets airtime necessary to turn the “brave idea” in their mind into a “crude deed” that deliver intended results.
#6: They don’t translate what the company intends to achieve down to the individual salesperson.
If it is unclear specifically and in detail what role a person has to perform, nothing changes and the past gets relived. It’s detailed and often painful work that average leaders leave to others, and it rarely gets done. Remarkable ones paint a vivid picture for each individual so there is no doubt about what they have to do differently to support the roadmap of the organization.
Six mistakes; six roadblocks to standout sales leadership.