2011 the year of sales leadership and integrity
Without doubt Sales Leadership and Integrity topped the rankings; the voting was overwhelmingly in favour of these two trends. The voting revealed the sales trends for 2011 in order of importance:
1. The Year of the Sales Leader
2. Integrity – your sales edge
3. Knowing your business
4. Prospecting and Social Media
5. Results not Solutions
6. CRM as a Business Strategy
7. The Sales Pioneer
8. Rethinking Incentives (The Science of Motivation)
9. Procurement and Value Managed
10. Leading and Examined Life
11. The New Sharing
12. Getting Personal
It’s the year of the sales leader. The increasing complexity of business structure, market changes, people dynamics, customer buying patterns and evolving technology, among other things have made the made the job of sales managers and leaders that much more challenging.
Keeping on top of their jobs will be a test of character as much as anything. The message is clear, if businesses don’t get their sales leadership and management capabilities functioning effectively, their sales efforts will be in peril in 2011 and beyond. The research is clear, educate and develop your sales managers to be effective sale leaders and the impact on sales results will be dramatic.
International research into sales training reported that if sales managers were more frequently and better trained and coached then their sales teams achieved higher performance and results. In no other type of sales training was a more positive correlation found between frequency of training and sales performance. The study in Sales Force Effectiveness also reported that Sales Management Training is the category of sales training that is addressed with the least frequency, in fact it is less than annually or not at all. Most sales managers are given very little or no support when it comes to being a competent, effective sales manager. In fact, many sales managers reported that they were given no formal training in sales management practices, either before or during their tenure as a sales manager.
Smart businesses will invest in the ongoing development of their sales leaders, producing highly effective professional business people who are knowledgeable and skillful in strategic action, technology, and global perspectives, and who excel at coaching, and proactive review.
Given the rapid pace of change, we need highly functioning sales managers and leaders who can lead from the front with courage, insight, skillful action, and a clear vision. They also need to be well resourced.
In 2011 and beyond what do sales leaders need?
- Knowledge about: markets, customers, products, competitors, technology, new marketing, what good sales talent looks like, how to develop strategy, fiscal management, etc.
- Skills in: coaching, leadership, management, recruitment, conflict resolution, negotiation, strategic thinking, planning, creating and leveraging networks, stakeholder management, selling, problem solving, etc.
- Personal insight: self awareness, ethics, integrity, professionalism, resilience, optimism and future mindedness, achievement focus, initiative, innovation and improvement, collaborating to achieve results, team orientation, decisive, etc.
- Sales resources: sales templates, coaching guides, recruitment resources, sales planning tools, CRM systems, performance management systems, etc.
Achieving mastery in all these areas can take a lifetime, however those companies that support and train all their sales leaders and managers in these core areas will gain a significant competitive advantage in 2011.
Remember, everybody lives by selling something.
Sue Barrett practices as a coach, advisor, speaker, facilitator, consultant and writer and works across all market segments with her skilful team at BARRETT. Sue and her team take the guess work out of selling and help people from many different careers become aware of their sales capabilities and enable them to take the steps to becoming effective and productive when it comes to selling, sales coaching or sales leadership.To hone your sales skills or learn how to sell go to www.barrett.com.au.