It continues to stagger me the number of sales leaders who operate on a daily basis under their Invisibility Cloak, believing that being invisible to their team will somehow drive their team to be better. For many of them, they have been very successful sales people, and based on this success, have been placed in the position of leadership & expected to continue the success. As soon as they are anointed to the sales leader role, the ceremonial cloak is bestowed upon them. They then proceed to socialise in the ‘leadership ranks’, begin to manage upwards and strategise on their next career move, often ostracising their team and customer base in the process. Instead of working closely with the team, they bark instructions and set unrealistic expectations.
The end result?
- A team that is disengaged
- A team that lacks direction
- A team that starts to become invisible
- A team that delivers poor results
Now, the invisibility cloak may be powerful in the magical world of Harry Potter, but in a sales environment, it is a curse. Being invisible as a sales leader is one of the quickest ways to destroy your team culture, not to mention having a direct impact on the teams sales performance. Invisible leaders can set their team back months, if not years, through their lack of engagement. The unfortunate thing though, is many of them who wear the cloak have no appreciation or awareness of the negative effect they are having on the team. They are operating under the illusion that all is well, that their team is self sufficient or know exactly what to do. And this is often because they are following the lead of other sales leaders who have been wearing the cloak as well.
It’s time the invisibility cloak is removed permanently. Sales teams today demand more attention and more involvement from their sales leaders than ever before. The environment continues to change rapidly and it is incredibly important that sales leaders can effectively lead their team through this change. And the only way they can do this is through being visible and being engaged.
Here are 3 things great sales leaders focus on to enable their team to be sustainably successful:
- They prioritise visibility – great sales leaders understand that the greatest gift they can give their team is the gift of their attention. This means that they are constantly visible. When it comes to making a decision between attending an internal meeting or being with their team, they will choose their team every time. Visibility cannot be underestimated – for many sales people, just by having their sales leader visible in the environment is enough incentive for them to move forward, to make that extra call, send that extra prospecting email, or to have that challenging conversation.
- They develop independence – whilst they prioritise visibility, they are also very conscious not to create an environment where their team is heavily reliant or dependant on them. Their focus is instead on creating an environment of independent thinking, where their team begins to think for themselves and make decisions without needing to ask for permission. They have created some frameworks for decision making which means that they do not have to be involved in every detail. This promotes autonomy, fosters development and ultimately leads to greater results.
- They set new benchmarks – great sales leaders have exceptionally high standards and despite the current level of performance, they know there is always another level to get to, a new benchmark to be set. They are never fully satisfied with the level of success and whilst they continue to celebrate wins and achievements, they are always striving to hit a new level & encourage the team to do the same. One of the ways they do this is by continuing to be visible in the environment and setting the example. They understand that the actions speak much louder than the words, hence, there is no invisibility cloak.
When you look at your sales leadership and how effectively you are leading your team, are you prioritising these 3 things, or are you wearing the invisibility cloak, hoping that it possesses some magical powers that will turn you and your team into magical sales wizards? Here’s the thing – the magic is in being visible to your team, through being there and focusing on how you can help them become successful, and sometimes rolling the sleeves up and getting dirty. It is through this that you will build your sales leadership credibility and ultimately lead your team to delivering sustainable results. That is where the power is.
To your continued sales leadership success.
P.s. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your Sales Leadership capabilities.
- Connect with me here on LinkedIn and let’s start the sales leadership conversation. Click here to connect.
- Download a copy of the ‘Exceptional Sales Culture Checklist’ and take the test. Click on this link to download a copy
- Work with me privately. If you’d like to work directly with me to become the exceptional sales leader in your field & drive sustainable results….just send me a message and put ‘Private’ in the first line….tell me a little about your role and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details.