Written by: Ken Kupchik
There are millions of salespeople around the world, and quite a few sales managers and others in sales leadership roles to guide them. Unfortunately, not all people who are in sales leadership positions can be considered true sales leaders. Some don’t care much for the growth of their teams, while others simply don’t have the knowledge or experience to be great leaders.
It’s not difficult to tell the difference between a sales follower and a sales leader when you’re working for one.
The following six signs are a pretty good indicator that you (or your sales manager) are a sales follower, and not a sales leader:
1. You don’t map your goals
You can’t just show up and wing it if you’re going to be a true leader. Accountability is a core element of success, especially in a numbers-driven profession like sales. People who don’t map their larger goals and break them down into smaller, more attainable ones can never be as effective as those who do.
2. You don’t work hard
There are very few people who will want to work hard for somebody who doesn’t work hard themselves. Sales is a labor-intensive profession that requires consistent and sustained effort for high performance, and leaders who are the hardest working people on the floor inspire their teams to do the same. But those who sit back and surf the web while expecting everybody else to work hard will not only be despised, they’ll also inspire poor performance.
3. You don’t teach and share your knowledge
Growing your skills and knowledge professionally is always a great thing, and sales leaders are always willing and eager to impart their knowledge on others to help them grow too. A great sales leader is just, as if not more, interested in educating the people they’re leading as they are in educating themselves.
4. You don’t push back
Instead of accepting things how they are, true sales leaders try to mold the world around them. This means that instead of simply accepting a customer’s buying timeline, a leader pushes back and creates a sense of urgency. It also means that excuses from the sales team aren’t simply accepted or ignored, they’re pushed back on and addressed so that they can’t be used again. Great leaders are never passive, they are always proactive and pushing everybody in the right direction.
5. You don’t innovate
If you think your industry is the same today as it was 10 years ago, and will be the same 10 years from now, then you’re probably not a true sales leader. Adapting to, and anticipating change is critical to success, and the best leaders understand that. Whether it’s adopting new technology like Spiro’s AI-powered CRM, or anticipating new industry trends before the competition, sales leaders know that companies and sales teams who don’t innovate will die.
6. You don’t celebrate other’s success
You can spot a great leader because they’re happy when everybody is winning, while a weak leader looks at others with disdain and only focuses on their own well-being. The problem with doing the latter is that everybody can sense someone that is only out for themselves, and will hesitate to show loyalty to someone who clearly doesn’t show any back. Understand that it’s better if everybody does well, not just if you do.
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