What Do Top Solution Selling Leaders Do Differently?
Watching top solution selling leaders can be enlightening. The role of solution selling leaders 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 leaders do three things better than their peers:
1. Follow and Lead Through Proven Solution Selling Sales Process
As a solution selling leader, your first task is to accept that your role is no longer to be always on the front line selling. You are now managing the entire 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.
2. Engage the Sales Team to Deliver Higher Performance
The best salespeople are fully engaged in their work…and it’s up to you as their sales leader to keep them that way. Highly engaged sales reps:
Sales reps 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, sales reps need to 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.
3. Coach for Improved Performance
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.
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 Bottom Line
Top solution selling leaders enable and encourage their team members to be better and ensure a consistent sales process, engage top talent and provide consistent sales coaching. Take charge and be an effective sales leader…it’s up to you.
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