What makes you a sales leader?

Are there rules or guidelines a sales leader needs to follow to be called a sales leader?

Yes! And it starts with how you lead your people versus how you lead your customers.

A sales manager is going to manage the customer. But a sales leader is going to lead their people and allow their people to lead/manage their customers.

It sounds simple, but we’re in the 4th quarter of the year where the race is on to close deals.  It’s during this race to close where we finally learn who is a sales leader and who is merely a sales manager.

The worst mistake a sales leader can do is to jump in and assume control of things with a customer.  Doing this winds up destroying the equity the salesperson has built up with the account.

When the sales leader jumps in, the customer will quickly realize the way to get something done is by going around the salesperson and directly to the sales manager.

If there is no other way for a deal to be closed, it is appropriate for a sales manager/leader to get involved, but it must be done in tandem with the salesperson.

One of the best approaches I’ve used and have coached others to use is where the sales leader is engaged to uncover information.  They can gain insights from people the salesperson may not be able to reach.

Key is in when the offer is made.  As a sales leader, I would never make the offer. The most I would do is negotiate and propose options, but it was always the salesperson’s job to close the deal and make it happen.

Using this approach allowed me to be involved when needed, but didn’t remove the salesperson from the process.

Outcome more often than not was that we closed the deal, but with the salesperson feeling good about it and learning key insights along the way.  The customer felt good because the deal closed while at the same time they know the salesperson is the one handling the business.

LOW RES Rules of Engagement by Mark HunterWant to know more about the Rules of Engagement?  Grab my free infographic that has all the rules and you will be on your way to being a strong sales leader.

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Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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