Sales success in any organization depends on finding the “imperfect leader” who displays the attributes necessary to sustain winning sales performance over the long term.
Imperfect, because they DON’T have balanced skills and competencies; they don’t possess a complete arsenal of leadership qualities. Rather they possess the critical few strengths necessary to consistently win the sales game.
These are sales executives who gravitate to and constantly display their “sweet spot”; the one aspect of the sales role they love to perform and one that creates excellence for the organization.
As a leader responsible for sales, it is critical to find an individual who has a sweet spot that matches exactly with what the organization requires to win in the marketplace.
I was fortunate enough to have such an individual on my team.
He was the type of person who put up with the strategy-building process but didn’t really like doing it. He participated well enough but I could always sense his impatience to get it over with fast so he could get on with what he really wanted to do.
Sales success is all about execution, and he was the most natural execution focused sales leader I ever knew.
He had a natural warrior attitude who cherished the prospect of going into battle to with a competitor and beating the crap out of them to win a sale.
He had a “scorched earth” attitude to landing a hotly contested sales contract. His view was literally to “take no prisoners” in any competitive battle.
He would win and they would lose, and lose badly. If he didn’t inflict “pain and suffering” upon those who competed with his sales team, he didn’t think he was doing his job.
He was always in the trenches doing battle; his office was the war zone where he fought and urged his people on to win.
He had execution running through his veins.
I would often describe him as a leader who I would not particularly rely on to help create the best strategy for my organization, but would trust unconditionally to execute whatever direction was chosen.
He would achieve the results expected and “take no prisoners” in the process.
He wasn’t the best person to do the analysis work and determine the right hill to climb, but I would trust him without hesitation to conquer whatever hill we chose with resounding purpose and success.
Did he possess the traits of a well rounded sales leader? No
Would the human resource professionals peg him in the top quartile of people who had the overall skills and competencies to lead a multifaceted organization? No.
Would I trade him for someone else to acquire the skills he lacked?
Not on your life! I would love to have been able to clone him; my performance results would have skyrocketed.
At the end of the day, winning the sales game day in and day out requires focus, energy, passion and the desire to win at any cost.
He possessed each of these traits intensely; he was “my person”.