Imagine this scenario; you are a top sales rep, great at closing deals and creative negotiations. Whenever you are at the table, you are seen as the subject matter expert or authority in the field. You come on board, build a pipeline from scratch and can run with it – all positives. Now you have your team, and it feels really good.
Except there is a problem.
Your team is not doing what they are supposed to be doing. It is not that they don’t know what they need to do, rather they are just not doing it, and that is becoming frustrating for you. As someone who has always been top of their field, the James Bond of sales, this is a real challenge. In one-on-one or group conversation, they tell you what they haven’t been doing and reasons as to why they can’t do what they should be.
I have worked with many sales executives on increasing productivity in their pipeline, and the scenario I just mentioned is often the first thing we address.
It is a subconscious mistake that sales leaders make, the assumption that a top sales rep is automatically a top sales leader. They are not equal; they are very different. Once you have your team, your first responsibility is to ensure that your knowledge and skills get transferred to your team. You are accountable for teaching and guiding them to be able to create the wins. When your team wins, you win.
Let me give you an example. I was working with a sales director, and one of his core principles was to respond to emails or messages within two hours, or at the latest by close of business. I love that. However, you know what was fascinating? None of his team members were doing that.
If this is something you’re familiar with, it’s time to think about what has contributed to your success, especially things that you do but your sales team are not. Once you find those things, you know what to do.
I hope this has given you some new ideas to improve your ways of working with your team and how you can transfer your knowledge, your secret weapons to your team. By sharing something new with your team, you are seen as the leader that brings fresh ideas. That is what leaders do.
Remember, you do not need to be a boss or a manager to implement something new or do something different. Leadership has nothing to do with your position, authority or place in the hierarchy. It is about how you conduct yourself and how you move people in new directions, excite and motivate them to do something differently.