• Mike Poledna

10 Tips To Make You A Better Sales Leader

Updated: Jan 13

Managing people is one of the most difficult aspects of being a sales leader. With great power comes great responsibility. Are you missing ways to make your life easier and your sales reps happier? Follow these 10 tips and never worry about being a mediocre boss again.

1. Get to Know Your Sales Team Members

Hiring a sales team is one of the most difficult aspects of being a sales leader. With great power comes great responsibility. Successfully managing people in this line of work relies on understanding your employees' unique strengths, talents, skills, and personalities and assessing the individual nature that each brings to the table. This knowledge will help you direct assignments, manage motivation, and identify areas where employees may need additional support for day-to-day operations.

2. Keep Track of Your Employees' Projects

As a sales leader, every time you add another project to an employee's plate, it can mean deciding which task they will stop working on. Especially in fast-paced and dynamic work environments, keeping track of your employees' projects is vital so that you understand the workload each person has at any given point in time. Planning for the future by keeping detailed records about old projects helps them transition seamlessly into new assignments. If executed correctly, this technique can also help you learn more about your employees and their strengths to assign people to tasks accordingly in the future.

3. Clear Communication

Communication is vital to any relationship, and it’s true for managers and their employees as well. Clear expectations can lead to smoother execution and delivery that minimize mistakes. Trust develops when a sales rep knows they can be candid with a manager while building open honesty, which means better communication between them.

4. Lead by Example

Managers have a vast range of distinctive styles for managing their employees, but one thing is clear – reps are looking to you for direction on what to say and how to react in any situation with customers and prospects. Always take a moment before speaking or acting and consider the implications of your spoken words and actions.

5. Recognize Success

It’s not just a Millennial thing. All salespeople like to feel appreciated and valued for their contribution. While some reps can still perform without acknowledging a job well done, you aren’t doing your team any favors by assuming that these individuals are on your side. Instead, assume everyone needs some form of praise from time to This helps sales team members feel valued for their efforts, leading to a better work environment, increased employee buy-in, and higher sales rep retention.

6. Invest in Your Own Self-Improvement

Successful sales leaders are interested in what drives their employees to improve. Continual investment in yourself will make you a better version of your current self and allow you to recognize the improvements that take place in others, as well.

7. Provide and Ask for Feedback

If you do not already have a feedback process in place for your sales organization, consider establishing one. This could take the form of an informal check-in once a week, depending on how large your team is. Providing regular input into each other's work performance can lead to better overall efficiency and knowledge about expectations. When you ask for feedback, you are allowing yourself to adjust to the needs of your employees. This helps you become a better sales leader, and it builds confidence in your ability to adapt based on situational awareness.

8. Be Adaptable

When challenges arise, be ready to reevaluate. You’re the boss and will need to show your team that you can successfully navigate a business through difficult times.

9. Extend a Hand

A good sales leader takes on the role of player-coach. Your primary responsibility is making sure your reps perform at the highest level possible, and you do that by managing your team. If someone on your team needs help with a sales opportunity, and you can lend a hand, it is in your best interest to extend it. That could mean helping prioritizing deadlines, troubleshooting when an employee reaches a roadblock or offering support in addressing challenges with internal partners. Be present and ready to help when it is in your power to do so.

10. Stay Humble

Managing people can be one of the most difficult aspects of being a sales leader. Whether or not you have prior experience, with great power comes great responsibility. There are many ways to bring professionalism and respect into your business decisions to make your life easier and make your employees happier. Doing so will provide an optimal sale environment and produce sustainable results for the customer, your team, and the company.

Implement these 10 tips to keep your sales team happy and successful, make them feel valued in their workplace, and make yourself a better sales leader.

Adding to your sales team? Get everything you need to execute a productive sales interview. Our ebook, 3 Essential Resources for Interviewing Sales Candidates, has the tools to make it easy. You’ll get an outline for the perfect interview, a list of questions to ask (and ones to avoid), and a candidate evaluation form to make sure you and your team make the best hire.

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