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  • Why Do Corporate Sales Leaders Fail?

    How do sales leaders achieve the ultimate goal of driving revenue for their organizations? Here are some common behaviors that hold many leaders back, and how they can refocus their efforts to get outstanding performance from their teams.

    Having been a corporate sales leader for many years and having had my share of failures, I’ve noticed some consistent behaviors Sales Directors, VP of Sales, and COO’s demonstrate that have caused them to circle the drain. The chief goal of any sales leader is to drive income for the company, plain and simple…short and sweet.

    Going about achieving this straightforward objective, well, that’s the question.

    Many sales leaders focus primarily on the numbers in an analytical fever, figuring out market share, performance quotients, margins, profit & loss, customer buying cycles, etc. This is not to say these activities are futile. On the contrary, keeping in tune to the figures is critic, but is it the MOST important thing?

    Other sales leaders concentrate on the corporate politics of the position, internal schmoozing, lobbying, and alignment. Again, these activities are very important for someone deemed to be the “face” of the company, especially as it relates to customer interface.

    I submit to you that the most important responsibility a corporate sales leader has is the coaching and development of his/her people. It can be one-on-one consultations, training, succession planning, additional education, mentoring, or peer partnerships, just to name a few.

    The entire aspect of staying on top of one’s development through coaching and assessment is often neglected by sales leaders. Early in my career as a sales manager, I focused a great deal on the analytics of the position (I’m an analytical by nature) and quite frankly very little on coaching and development. The result was a very high vacancy rate and rampant morale issues. I did not take the time to measure and explore the personality/temperature of my team and it bit me in the fanny.

    Today, because of immense competition, higher customer expectations, and growth demand devoid of the economy many sales leaders just do not have the time to focus microscopically on coaching and development…sadly. There’s a ton of information on the information highway that suggests a well coached/developed sales employee is not only productive, but competent, confident, and most importantly, successful. A competent/successful sales team will guarantee a successful income driven company, which is THE CHIEF GOAL OF THE SALES LEADER!

    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Management

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    About the Author: Domestic/International Sales Management, Global Training/Product Marketing, and Project Management are a few key senior executive roles Andre' has held in his 24 years of professional experience. With a passion and opportunity to lead national and global sales teams, he has built and developed sales organizations that addressed untapped markets, conducted customer segmentations, and uncovered market intelligence to meet corporate objectives and goals. His leadership skills are broad with diverse positions that encompass building a sales organization from ground level, managing multi-million dollar budgets and leading numerous cross-functional teams. His skills and experience are all backed by a Green Belt Six Sigma certification. Visit his website at http://aharrell2000.wordpress.com.

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