Excellent teams need excellent leaders. You can’t expect your sales team to thrive if they do not have a clear understanding of where they are headed. Leadership is about navigating the way forward, but also remembering that you are touching lives along the way. How well you coach and train your sales reps can impact their livelihood.
According to author Wally Bock, when you accept the position of leadership, you are called to care for your team members and try to improve their lives. This, he says, is leadership’s sacred trust. So, what can you do to improve your leadership? Bock says there are several ways you can be a better leader. We share his ideas in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
Accept your employees’ humanity. Remember that work is only part of their life—not their whole life. Sometimes, work will take a back seat to other aspects of their life. Also, keep in mind that people are emotional and make mistakes, says Bock. Your goal is not to ensure they never fail but to help them become productive professionals.
Protect your people. As a leader, you have a responsibility to your sales reps that they have a safe place to work. Your job is to protect them from the whims and folly of the powers that be, says Bock, and to keep the team running smoothly by correcting issues promptly. You can also protect your people by controlling your own behavior. Being a leader does not give you authority to act however you wish. Treat your sales reps respectfully and always say “please” and “thank you.”
Treat your employees fairly. Another way to be a great leader is to prioritize fair treatment. This means that consequences should match the behavior and that processes should be fair and perceived as fair by all your team members.
Nurture your sales reps. No matter how long your sales reps have been on your team, never let them stagnate. Help them grow by offering additional training or professional development opportunities. If they outgrow their current position, help them define what’s next, says Bock, even if the next step is with another organization.
Illuminate the bigger picture. It’s up to you as a leader to show your people how they fit into your company’s larger picture. Look for ways to show your sales reps that their work matters. And don’t expect them to automatically know why they should be working hard, notes Bock. It’s also helpful to help your team members learn how to be better employees. Show them how to pitch in and help each other.
Give your sales reps more control. Brock points out that people want to make as many decisions as possible about their own work life. You can help your employees by making sure they have the resources they need. Check in with them and see how you can help.
Set the example. The best leaders set a positive example. They display what they want to see in their team members. If you want timeliness, be punctual. If you want honesty, tell the truth. And if you want hard work, be willing to put in hard work yourself.
There’s no one way to be a perfect leader, but there are many ways to be a great one. Reflect on the points above if you want to be a better leader for your sales reps.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Wally Bock is an author, blogger, ghostwriter and writing coach.
Used with permission from PPAI Media