Creating a Culture of Sales Leaders
As the founder of Dakota Funds and after being in business since 1989, I truly believe the single most important aspect of a company’s success is its culture. Your culture is more than just a buzz term or a trending topic. It impacts your employees and how they perform, which impacts the performance of your organization. Ultimately, it comes down to the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you – or each other in this case. The truth is your team will treat each other the way you treat them. If you treat people equally and hold them accountable for things they should know, it will help them grow and that is in the best interest of the organization.
Make Yourself and Your Team Accountable
I’ve previously written about accountability, which is a key aspect of sales success. It’s also a key ingredient for creating a culture of sales leaders. Leaders don’t just spontaneous sprout, they require cultivation, support and growth opportunities. As a leader yourself, in order to encourage leadership from others, you need to take accountability for how you engage and interact with your team; this is the foundation of your culture.
For me, my priority is the team and their individual growth. It’s on me to help develop them according to best practices and my own experience. Salespeople want leaders they can look up to and trust. If you put processes in place that allow them to follow your lead, they feel more ownership of their work.
Communication is Crucial
Research the topic of sales leadership and most, if not all, resources emphasize the importance of coaching, training and solid leadership to emulate. A culture of training, helping and communicating is absolutely critical in order to create effective sales leaders.
Constant communication allows existing leadership to lead instead of merely manage. As sales leaders, we don’t want to be in the manager business, we want to be in the leadership business. If you are constantly trying to manage people, that’s difficult to achieve. When you integrate processes – built on culture – you help your team manage their own success. As a result, everyone wins.
This is why we hold daily check-ins and a weekly priorities meeting where each member of the team reports on progress made in their sales cycle. Priorities are discussed, concerns are addressed, and coaching is provided where necessary. The focus of the call isn’t necessarily to report whether you sold anything but to practice accountability, transparency and overall progress.
You have the ability to create and shape a culture of leadership; if you want a sales organization made up of leaders who find success, you need to make them the priority.