What It Takes to Hire A Truly Great Sales Team Leader

So often I hear CEOs complain about their sales manager. “He was the best salesperson I’d ever had but once I promoted him, his team has rarely performed up to par!”

A sales manager does not need to be your best salesperson because unless they can teach someone through osmosis how to sell, that particular skill is not transferrable unless it is skillfully taught and accounted for. The ego drive that most successful salespeople have is not one of the characteristics, you need to produce and nurture other great salespeople. Therefore, I would advise to never promote your best salesperson to manager because two things can happen:

• You will potentially lose the level of sales you had been getting with him/her.

• Your sales manager will become “the closer” for the salespeople and you will not be cultivating sales people, just “lead finders” who will limit your growth opportunity.

Here are the things you need to look for in hiring a sales leader:

Strong coaching. To be a great coach, listening is the most important skill. Helping people reach their own best potential is what you want to look for, not teach them to do what I do. What is this salesperson’s best potential? Their weakest skill? The job of coaching will help a salesperson discover these things and get better every day.

It takes leadership. A leader is someone that doesn’t tell someone what to do but asks questions and gets them to realize their own best outcome. The best leaders have the skill of someone who asks for input, then helps with the suggestion. When someone self-discovers an answer to a question it becomes theirs. When it is theirs, they learn.

Keeping the team members accountable. This is the one of the most overlooked and important criteria. As CEOs you will often hear, “I don’t want to babysit them” or “I don’t care what they do as long as they hit their numbers.” This thinking is dangerous. Having no idea what the reason is that someone is successful or not is the fault of the sales manager completely.

How do we help them track their successes and how they reached them? How do we know what advice to give if we have no idea what they had been doing to get them into the situation that they are in?

In your future search for a great sales team leader, think differently about what you need.

For more information, visit salesleadersalliance.com

Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting and training firm. She is the author of “To Sell is NOT to Sell.” For more information or free sales tips, go to schulzbusiness.com and sign up for “GretaNomics,” or email sales questions to greta@schulzbusiness.com.

You May Also Like

State Legislature Drops the Job Growth Ball

By Gary Press   With Florida facing historically high unemployment because of the COVID-19 pandemic, one would think our state government would be pulling out all of the stops to support job growth, particularly for high-value jobs that pay more than a community’s average annual wage. Instead, the Florida Legislature quietly allowed our most-used economic

Rethinking Sales Today

Today, more organizations increasingly are facing more competition, rapidly changing technology, slower market growth and less product differentiation. This trend requires business development professionals to manage more accounts, build stronger relationships, sell to multiple buyers, and be much more creative thinkers. Therefore, it becomes much more difficult than it used to be to sell …

The Future of the Office

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text] As I talked to my many office tenants in the first few weeks of the national shutdown, they were pleasantly surprised how well remote working was going. Giddy almost, with the level of seamless technology transition, the freedom of stretchy pants, unshaven faces and no daily

Is your sales manager managing time well?

Is your sales manager balancing priorities properly? How do you know? Today a big question faced by most executives is, what is my sales manager doing and what should he or she be doing? Right now, this is more important than ever. Two  priorities should always take the bulk of your sales managers’ time. Priority

Other Posts

And Justice For All

By Monica St. Omer   Monica St. Omer has been working with me for eight years. She is my right-hand but so much more. She is a wonderful soul who gives unconditionally. In our management meeting a few weeks ago, I asked Monica for her take on the racial tensions in our country today. She

Keeping us connected

As a company that doesn’t directly serve the general public, SBA Communications might be called the quiet giant of the South Florida business scene even thought it’s on the S&P 500. If you aren’t familiar with SBA, the subject of this issue’s cover story, it owns and operates more than 32,000 wireless communications sites in

Lessons learned

As I write this column, South Florida has yet to enter into a phase one reopening, lagging the rest of the state. I hope readers and their businesses are negotiating their way through these unpleasant times. I wanted to take some time to reflect back on some lessons that should be learned: Build a nest

The Unseen Enemy

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text] As I wrote my column in March for the April issue, the COVID-19 virus was just starting to wreak havoc in the United States. I likened it to a black swan event, so named because black swans didn’t seem to exist until they were one day