Understand that the way to repeat business and continuous referrals is to serve customers in an exemplary fashion and not flog products and services at them. They don’t differentiate between sales and service; serving begets sales. They realize that in the long run, the customer relationship is the primary value sales creates for the organization.
Serve their employees in the same way they expect customers to be treated. If salespeople on the inside aren’t served well by their leader, it’s unlikely they will treat customers well.
Have a sales strategy that mirrors perfectly the strategic game plan of the overall organization; they use it as THE context for designing their priorities and how sales are compensated. Chasing sales tactics that don’t have direct line of sight to strategy results in sales dysfunction.
As a top priority, create a sales proposition that separates their team from “the sales herd”. They understand that the answer to the question “Why should I buy from you and not your competition,” is THE key element of their success. If their team looks like all other teams, customers have no motivation to choose them.
Don’t over-analyze everything. The degree of study depends on the risk associated with the decision to be made. They select a course of action that is “just about right” and get on with it.
Don’t look for perfection. The quest for perfection is a roadblock to execution. They understand that success is a function of doing lots of imperfect stuff fast.
Are known champions of change within their organization which gives them personal currency and the ability to garner resources to support their sales efforts.
Encourage salespeople to lose a sale if it means keeping the relationship with the customer. They do whatever it takes to drive home the message that deepening the customer relationship is the critical sales priority.
Spend copious amounts of time with their salespeople in the field. Learning what’s really going on. Determining barriers to performance. Make meaningful change. They don’t have an ivory tower mentality.
Are contrarian by nature? They believe that the source of opportunity lies not in copying what others are doing, but rather charting a course that no one else is on. They are “180 degree thinkers”. Benchmarking sales best practices is not on their radar.
Accompany salespeople to meet with customers regularly. They rely on obtaining customer feedback on organizational performance and input on sales performance from seeing them in action.
They are relentless and voracious learners. Standing still intellectually isn’t an option in a world changing every instant. Value added to the organization depends on sales leaders “keeping up.” They believe staying ahead requires learning leadership.
The smart generation of sales leaders know that success doesn’t come from an academic pedigree.
Smart sales leaders know that brilliant performance is the result of practicing the fundamentals of being different, staying close to customers, serving employees and executing strategy in the trenches.
Are you a smart sales leader?