This is the final part of my blog series exploring The 5 Core Disciplines of Sales Leadership. And today I’m going to look at the need for the leader to create an environment of high-performance –a culture of both expectation and aspiration, where all team members are clear on what they need to do and have the desire to do it.
The secret to creating a high-performance team environment is consistency. Specifically, the ability of the sales leader to consistently execute all of the other leadership disciplines;
- to set the standard– consistently encouraging the team to behave in accordance with the agreed values,
- to communicate with impact– consistently creating absolute clarity for the team,
- to execute strategy– consistently maintaining focus on achievement of the goals and holding the team to account,
- to enable their team to maximise their potential– consistently providing the feedback, training and coaching required for the team to excel.
Many a new leader has started with the best of intentions, but then failed to be consistent with their message and expectations. When this happens, teams inevitably fall back into old behaviours. As a sales leader, it is not enough just to lay out the ground rules at the beginning and then expect everybody to toe the line going forward. Change requires continual reinforcement and attention to progress. By demonstrating consistency, the leader also builds credibility and trust, strengthening the relationship between them and their team.
In conclusion, there are 3 common themes which have come out of this blog series which are critical for any new sales leader looking to deliver impact and results:
- Determine your starting position. Over the past few weeks I have outlined the core skills required to be a successful sales leader, but before you can begin to make any kind of change, you’ll need to be crystal clear on your starting point. You need to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie and how you are perceived by others. Whilst we all have some sense of self-awareness, we cannot possibly ever truly know how we’re perceived by others unless we ask them. Anonymous 360° surveys (or an equivalent) are, in my experience, the most effective method of gaining this kind of feedback.
- Focus on the few things which will deliver the biggest results. Don’t try to change too much, too soon. Focus your efforts and those of your team on those goals and activities which will deliver the biggest return. Too many priorities will only create confusion and conflict.
- Be consistent. As I’ve outlined above, being consistent with your message and behaviours is essential if you want to gain the trust and respect of your team and engage them in your vision. At the outset, when you’re first determining your 3-5 core values, write them down somewhere where you can frequently refer back to them, that way you can ensure your actions and behaviours are in accordance with those values as you move forward.
To read this blog series from the beginning, click here.