3 Core Things All Top Solution Selling Leaders Do

picture of a chess pawn whose shadow is a king showing potential success of solution sellers

Now that you’re the sales leader of a solution selling team, it’s time to take the lead…you’re no longer the pawn but have the opportunity to be King or Queen!

The role of a sales leader has changed considerably over the years. It used to be that a sales manager simply kept track of sales activities from the number of contacts to final wins and was responsible for hiring and retaining top sales reps. Today we have a much smarter view of the impact sales leaders can have on sales performance. Our solution selling training research shows that for greater revenue, higher margins, lower turnover and higher win/loss ratios, solution selling managers need to do three things:

  1. Follow and lead through a proven solution selling process
  2. Engage the sales team
  3. Coach for improved sales performance

Solution selling sales process

Accept that your role is no longer on the front line selling. You are now managing the customer acquisition process. It’s up to you to help your sales team move effectively from initial contact through each step in the customer buying process to the final deal. We know that teams who have an agreed upon step-by-step process in place for solution selling have a far greater chance to win. But it takes more than having a diagram of where and when to move to the next step in the buying process. It takes leadership commitment in seeing that the process is followed and improved along the way.

Employee Engagement

The best salespeople are fully engaged in their work…and it’s up to you as their sales manager to keep them that way. Highly engaged employees are more productive, stay longer and are greater advocates of the company’s products, solutions and overall brand. Employees need to feel that their success has a purpose larger than their own paycheck. Engaged employees feel a part of a meaningful mission and have a hand in helping their clients to succeed. They also need to feel that they will be recognized for their achievements and rewarded appropriately…that they, and their teammates, will be held accountable for their performance. And finally, they understand that there is a career path ahead with challenges and opportunities for growth. With purpose, reward and growth in view, they are unlikely to slack off or jump ship.

Sales Coaching

This is perhaps the most critical part of your new role…effective sales performance coaching. The more effective your sales coaching, the greater your team’s sales performance.  In fact, our research shows that sales reps who receive effective and consistent sales coaching outperform their peers 4-to-1 in terms of revenue attainment.  It’s up to you to help your team members do their job better in an independent way. What does good sales coaching entail? A setting in which the sales team member understands that getting better at a certain skill will help them be more successful personally and professionally. Smart sales leaders create a sales culture that promotes trust to accept feedback, try new behaviors and continuously improve.

The best sales managers enable and encourage their team members to do it all better. Take charge and be an effective sales leader…it’s up to you.

Download Sales Toolkit: 10 Important Tools for Sales Leaders

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We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

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The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

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I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

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The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

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LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

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