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Sales is Leadership is Sales

Some ask me how I manage to help teams and individuals advance in both leadership and sales. "Aren't those two very different subjects?"

The answer: no, these two areas are very similar. And the longer I spend working on them, the more similar they become.

Ultimately, sales is a different form of leadership. What do I mean by that? Here are three key insights to apply to your sales team:
  1. Full accountability. I see too many salespeople (and even sales managers) blaming the lack of success outside of their own area: the market, customers, IT, and all sorts of things make selling difficult. Even if these influences exist, blaming them doesn't do us any good: as soon as we let the responsibility for our success out of our hands, we are helpless. One of the first principles for top leadership is "full responsibility." The same is true in sales.

  2. In the driver's seat. One of the most important rules for success in sales is that you, the salesperson, are in the driver's seat. That means you and not the customer control the sales process. I see too many salespeople being controlled by others. It's just like leadership: you stay in the driver's seat, especially when the figurative road gets difficult and snow and hail start pouring down. It's precisely then that you need your focus and calm steering toward the goal.

  3. Clear goals. As in leadership, so in sales: the clarity of your goals determines to a large extent your success. If you don't know exactly where you want to go (with your customer or with your team), you won't be able to focus the energy needed to achieve top results.
So: make your sales team a squad of leaders. Your sales will pretty certainly go up.

If you're serious about developing your sales team, contact me for a brief introduction session.  Just set up a 15min appointment ➔ here.


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