Fundamentals of Sales Leadership

Fundamentals of Sales Leadership

Most businesses fail because they cannot sell their products fast enough, in quantities great enough and at prices high enough to sustain the company. In contrast, successful companies with effective sales forces consistently deliver sustainable revenue growth. Delivering sustainable revenue growth, at scale, requires excellence in the fundamentals of sales leadership. Despite needing to focus on the fundamentals, sales leaders often overcomplicate issues. Below are five key fundamentals of sales leadership for delivering sustainable revenue growth.

1- Right Strategy – The role of strategy is to communicate a clear direction to the sales force. Sales leaders should repeat the strategy often so sellers understand and get behind it. Having the right strategy enables the sales organization to play offense with customers while keeping pace with change. It also provides focus, clarity and alignment despite short-term economic and performance pressures. In contrast, having the wrong strategy causes organizations and people to play defense by continually reacting to the competition and market.

2 – Right Model – Once the right strategy has been set, the right operating model must be implemented. Effective operating models align people, process and technology to achieve strategic commitments. Culture must be rooted in execution and incorporate regular accountability reviews to ensure strategic priorities are delivered. Sales leaders should continually work to reduce bureaucracy and remove barriers to help sellers close deals faster, in greater quantities and at higher prices.

3 – Right People – Once the right operating model has been implemented, the right sales people must be hired to execute it. Great sales people make great things happen. Great sales people can adapt to change and require minimal management or motivation. Sales leaders should continually work to attract, develop and retain the industry’s best people. This often means hiring people as good or better than you. Once hired, sales leaders must get sellers excited about what they can accomplish. Sellers must believe the organization can win.

4 – Right Priorities – Every sales organization has complexity. Sales leaders should work to reduce the complexity into 3-5 specific priorities. Priorities help sales people make the right decisions and tradeoffs about where to focus their time, resources and energy. Priorities also help sales people know what to do in unexpected situations. If there are no priorities, focus and results often suffer. When setting priorities, sales leadership should: a) focus on the future, not the past, b) focus on opportunities, not problems and b) set a unique direction versus climb on the bandwagon.

5 – Right Focus – Distractions are everywhere, especially in sales. Sales leadership should work to help their sellers stay focused on the right things. Focus is measured by the ability to complete pre-determined objectives on time. What are the sales organization’s top 3-5 priorities? Focus relentlessly on achieving them and filter the rest. There will always be the temptation to focus on the important, but non-essential. Or, to fall back on what you are comfortable with, not what needs to be done. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

All contents copyright © 2016, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.


One Response to Fundamentals of Sales Leadership

  1. Robert Konsavage says:

    Great post! Your details are helpful. Thanks for your work.


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