According to the most successful business owners in New Zealand, these are the most important characteristics you must have to be a top Sales Leader.
Managers improve - leaders inspire!
As the Sales Leader, you are in a critical role charged with increasing your business turnover annually, via your sales team. Inspiring and empowering your staff and getting buy-in from them is critical to achieving your targets. Sales Leaders base decisions on data, not gut-instinct. Eisenhower described leadership as: “the art of getting someone else to do something you want done, because they want to do it”.
Being honest and having strong moral principles is key as a Sales Leader. Your team will be drawn to you because they trust you and depend on you. Keeping your staff in the loop with issues allows them to feel like they know what is going on and they’re not left in the dark. Taking responsibility and owning errors on your team’s behalf creates respect for you from them. "Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, and treating people with respect." – Stephen Cove
Both customers and staff respond to empathy – in fact most people do. It’s a core requirement in building long-term relationships, and its crucial your team understand it’s power. Empathy will be the difference between getting a sale or not, and having return-business from your customer, and not. “Leadership is about empathy.”– Oprah Winfrey
Great Listening Skills
Greek philosopher Epictetus once said “you have two ears and one mouth – you should be using them in this proportion”. Understand and then teach your team that your conversations with your prospective customers should weigh in at 80% of the conversation being made by the customer, and 20% by you. As soon as you talk over your customer, you’ve lost them.
Great Sales Leaders in general are transparent about their objectives, goals and motivations. Being open to opinions from your team and valuing their feedback is very important and allows your staff to trust you as their leader. “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” - Dalai Lama