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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