LEADERSHIP SERIES: Research suggests that Sales Leadership is the difference maker between good performance and superior performance. And how sales leaders embrace five essential roles is critical to the success of their teams. We hope you find this series of short informal discussions around sales leadership useful and thought-provoking.
Our team will often ask this question of the leaders in the organizations we train, and the most common response is a pause and blank stare followed by the question, “what are the five roles?”. We will then explain the concept of Catalyst5, a new paradigm of sales leadership. The five practices of LEADER, BUSINESS MANAGER, COACH, RECRUITER, TRAINER encourage the manager to be a positive change agent. Our training process is geared to drive the skills and philosophies necessary to motivate and generate high levels of performance from their sales teams.
While a successful sales manager will effectively wear all five “hats” at any given time, it’s important to differentiate between them during training so that we focus on the specific skills and responsibilities of each. At Sales Effectiveness, Inc. our workshops are typically implemented in three stages over an 18-24 month period. For Stage 1, we start by training the sales manager as a COACH. A great coach focuses on professional growth by building on the strengths of her employees. Emphasis in this workshop is placed on helping, guiding and counseling.
Often sales managers are doing their best to manage, but have little direction on how to really turn on the team, which is the role of a great COACH. In fact, the level of leadership can often best be described as underdeveloped and inconsistent. So imagine if your sales manager becomes enlightened on how to change his leadership role and become a dynamic leader. What if all managers could excel as complete sales leaders – positive, inspiring, change agents (or catalysts)? With its complexities, many believe the role of sales manager is the hardest job of an organization and yet research shows there is no better indicator for success than companies whose sales managers are passionate sales leaders.
We will continue to explore the five key roles of a Sales Manager (Leader, Business Manager, Coach, Recruiter and Trainer) and in the meantime, in the comments below let us know on which of the 5 roles does your organization allocate more energy and resources to training and development? What have the results been?