A sales leader working with the team
A sales leader working with the team

Image courtesy: Unsplash

According to LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales report,

  • More than 76% of top performers “always” research before they reach out to prospects (compared to only 47% for other sellers).
  • Virtual selling is here to stay, as 31% of sellers have closed deals of more than $500,000 without ever meeting the buyer in person.
  • Keeping tabs on your buyers is crucial because 81% of sellers have lost deals or experienced stalling in the past 12 months due to a key stakeholder leaving a prospect company or client.

Despite embracing sales technology, buyers are often frustrated because many sellers simply use sales tech just to spam potential buyers more efficiently. But sales leaders are shining in the changing landscape of sales nevertheless by understanding what buyers want and selling them exactly that.

Sales leaders also use technology, but they are focused on using it to knock on the right doors, increase their reach, find hot leads, and deliver the right message to their target audience at the right time.

Not sure what the secret is behind efficient sales leadership? Let’s try to decode it here.

1.     Wise Use of Sales Tech

Be it gathering data, analysing loads of data to find the most useful information to drive sales, supporting your insights with data-driven analytics, or automating mundane chores, a lot can be done with sales tools, AI, and automation. But the use of sales tech should be wise.

Top sales leaders don’t give their sales reps every tool they could possibly need. Instead, they focus on developing their team’s resources carefully to foster a healthy team environment. Sometimes, even with limited resources, your sales team could surprise you by stepping up and performing amazingly.

The key lies in making your sales reps understand what’s essential to function as a team rather than giving them every shiny tool they ask for.

2.     Building Trust and Focusing on a Customer-Centric Selling Model

With personalised messages, two-way communication, and delivering value, sales reps today need to build trust in their brand and offerings to bring in leads and conversions. According to sales leaders, building trust is a vital aspect of the present-day, customer-centric selling model.

Unlike in the past when sellers decided how they would sell to their customers, it’s important today to look at what buyers want. A helpful, consultative, and empathetic approach to selling is what’s needed today.

Extensive buyer research to understand your prospective customer’s pain points and needs, listening actively, and having conversations for relationship-building are vital in today’s buyers’ world. These are the things sales leaders urge their teams to focus on.

3.     Making Quality Work (Not Quantity) a Priority

  • How many sales calls do your reps make each day to connect with a buyer?
  • Is your sales team sending out cold emails by the dozens each day with a dismal response rate?
  • Is your sales team using data-driven insights?

A successful sales leader tries to tie back everything to the objective when evaluating the sales strategy. Since a lot of work needs to be done by the sales team, setting your goals, the avenues that will help accomplish those goals, and being unafraid of scrapping things that don’t support the goals are vital.

It also helps to encourage sales managers to examine their processes to find flaws and weaknesses instead of relying blindly on traditional sales notions about quantity taking precedence over quality. For instance, if someone says that you need to make 15 calls to connect with a buyer or send 20 cold emails before getting a response, it should make your sales reps ask questions like these:

  • What’s going wrong with the first 5 or 10 calls the buyers are rejecting?
  • What are we missing in our first 19 cold emails? 

Once your sales team finds and fixes the flaws that are contributing to their low response rate, they will be able to get much better results by focusing on quality rather than blindly running after quantity.

4.     Hiring Self-Motivated People

Since not everyone is cut out for sales, sales leaders should choose people carefully when building a strong team. Many sales leaders seek self-motivation, which they say is a crucial trait that differentiates between those who will survive and those who will sink.

Instead of enthusiasm, speed, or the number of deals one closes, it’s the inherent inner fire that will take a person far in the field of sales. Since no amount of training can ignite that inner fire or change unmotivated behaviour, it becomes important for a leader to choose right.

To build a strong team, you will need to hire the right people and train and equip them with the skills and tools they will find useful in their work. Successful sales leaders know how to identify the best candidates through hiring and training, which helps them give their team a strong foundation.

5.     Investing in Well-Planned Training

Good sales leaders can mentor and raise excellent reps for the sales team. They invest in training and coaching to equip the team with the requisite skills and resources. They focus on giving individualized help to each sales rep and coach them on how to fill the gaps as a sales professional, which is critical for the team’s success.

Sharing their experience and providing valuable insights are other ways the leaders motivate their sales reps. Working side-by-side with the team on some deals to instil confidence and build a safe environment is yet another way leaders typically help their sales reps to implement their learning and strengthen their development.

Final Words

Managing a sales team isn’t easy. As a leader, you must believe in your leadership. Additionally, you need to focus on the wise use of sales tech, build trust and stick to a customer-centric selling model, and make quality (not quantity) a priority.

Hiring self-motivated people and investing in training and coaching for your sales reps are other ways to keep your people motivated and on track to achieving business goals.

If you need help to hire the right salespeople, you always have us at InHunt World to call upon!

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