Posts Tagged ‘sales leader’

Are You An Authentic or Just Charismatic Sales Leader?

Would you rather be an authentic or a charismatic sales leader?  This early Saturday morning question surfaced as I read a posting over on LinkedIn.  The posting linked to this HBR article.

sales-leaderMany people fall for the charismatic salesperson.  These are the folks with the warm smile and firm handshake. They seem to make that immediate emotional connection.  Their solutions appears to be want the sales prospect wants to needs.

Then after the checked has been received, the delivery made, these charismatic sales leaders can never be found. Excuses are made as to why something didn’t get done. Often times they will pass the buck, blame others.  Long term customers are really not their goal.

Authentic leaders appear not to be as charismatic.  They also have the warm smile and the firm handshake. Making an emotional connection may not be as immediate.  Unlike the charismatic sales leaders, they are around after the sale.  These individuals do not make excuses for them as the buck stops with them.

Another difference between the authentic and charismatic sales leader is their audience.  As I noted in the LinkedIn comment, the reason some people fall for the charismatic leaders is the internal desire for the quick fix.

Most of us internally want the quick fix even though we know the results probably will not be sustainable.  Time is precious and time is money.  When we can have those quick fixes, we then can go on to other important matters and happiness will follow.

We know this to be true if we look at all those quick fix products sold from the self improvement industry, the health industry to the sales industry.  Many of them are sold by charismatic people.  And yet the problems are still very much present.

Probably the most notable difference is authentic leaders are guided by non-negotiable positive core values (business ethics) while for some charismatic leaders they will do or say whatever they need to do or say to get their prospects to take action.  They may promise the moon (oversell the solution) or make negative comments about the competition. Again for them winning is everything and the heck with positive core values.

Each of us in sales has a choice to be an authentic sales leader or a charismatic one.  For me I prefer the former because I will never sacrifice my positive core values for a quick buck.

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What Makes a Forward Thinking Sales Leader?

With the marketplace changing, the job descriptions for salespeople in flux, the future for those engaged in selling centers around being a forward thinking sales leader.  These four words when analyzed separately and combined together provide a thorough description of the future for those in sales.

forward-thinking

Forward is from Old English and means to be situated in advance. In simpler terms it means to be ahead of the flow.

Thinking has its roots in Latin and means to know.  With 80-90% of all thoughts at the subconscious level, thinking in contemporary terms more at the conscious thought, more intentional.

Sales even though a simple word has many meanings from actual transactions to the act of selling.  In this instance, the act of selling works because those who master this skill also earn more sales.

Finally, leader is the last word and again there have been volumes written about what is a leader. For me a leader is someone who first leads himself or herself through the demonstration of clearly articulated positive core values toward the desired, predetermined results.

When we combine these four words we have a very in depth description of a forward thinking sales leader with implied beliefs, behaviors and talents such as:

Anyone can be a forward thinking sales leader provided he or she is willing to invest the time to develop himself or herself. Those who take such action without  financial support from their employers will become the top sales performers.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who disrupts the status quo by discovering new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses; those who wish to grow beyond their current employees and executives in career chaos.  She is recognized as one of the Top 25 Sales Influencers in 2013 by Open View Sales Labs and can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.

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Do You Really Need A Sales Manager in Today’s SMB World?

The reality is much of the organizational structure for mid size to small businesses (SMB) today including having a sales manager is based on some of the practices of years gone by much larger companies with over 100 employees and multiple locations.  Maybe now is the time if your firm is actually a SMB of 99 employees or less to reconsider this organizational structure?

sales-manager

During a pre-recorded radio interview with Lynn Hidy and Dan Waldschmidt this past week, we discussed what makes a good sales manager versus a poor one. During this 60 minute conversation, this question surfaced:

Do you really need a sales manager?

The SMB world of today is quite a bit different than yesterday.  Technology allows for data delivery and analysis far easier and faster. No longer must someone such as the sales manager compile, calculate and communicate performance of the sales team.

If the small business owner has hired right, the sales person should be self directed sales leader meaning he or she needs no to little guidance or support and has those sales leadership talents especially if the SMB has clearly articulated the vision, values and current mission of the organization.  Sales  Coaching Tip:  Instead of sales training, consider sales leadership development through sales coaching to improve the performance of your sales team.

This question also once again confirmed that SMB must begin to think differently and cast off those strategies, structures, processes, rewards and even people (5 Star Model) that came from the 1.2% of the past. Today’s business world demands greater flexibility, speed, agility and a much flatter organization. Sales Coaching Tip:  Deming advanced changing the organizational structure to improve quality (think results) years ago and the US businesses ignore his vision, but the Japanese listened.

Today’s world is all about self directed sales leaders who know the target, have the best tools to hit the target, have the skills to aim for the target and then actually hit the target. Possibly by having a sales manager, you have created a hurdle for your sales team? I am reminded these often repeated words:

“If you continue to do what you have always done,

you will always get what you have always received.”

P.S. Join this FREE webinar, The 3 Sales Buying Rules,  on Thursday, March 7, 2013 from 12-12:30pm to learn now only these sales buying rules but the sales leadership talents necessary to work with this rules.

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