Leading Your Sales Force into the ‘Performance Zone’

Beliefs, whether they are logical or deeply flawed, drive an individual’s attitude and behaviour. As such, they can have far-reaching consequences on a sales fuction’s overall performance.

Beliefs such as “Our solution is no good” or “All the customer cares about is price” can have a negative impact on your peoples’ attitude and behaviour, inhibiting their ability to sell. If such beliefs are common across the sales force, this can be extremely damaging to performance.

Great sales leaders deliver a shift in beliefs

Great sales leaders deliver a shift in the beliefs of their people. This is because they know that they will transform the attitudes and behaviours (and, ultimately, performance) of their people by achieving a positive shift in beliefs.

Yet our experience shows that many sales leaders share the same challenge as their people: a flawed system of beliefs can drive negative attitudes and behaviour. After several years of coaching sales leaders to improve their organisation’s sales performance, it has become apparent that real growth and development is achieved by exposing and challenging your own beliefs and any assumptions that limit your behavioural scope.

When leaders understand this phenomenon and learn to shift both their own beliefs and the beliefs of their people, we see a breakthrough in performance time after time.

Challenging your own beliefs

By exposing and challenging your own beliefs, you will become less driven by asssumptions and more capable of choosing the appropriate leadership responses to the situations you face. You will access strengths and parts of yourself that you may have previously thought inaccessible and grow into a much better leader.

The benefits of this are significant. A leader who challenges their own beliefs and assumptions will inspire their people and set the standard for commitment and effective action throughout the company, attracting the brightest and best sales people as a result.

From our experience, attitudinal and behavioural growth in sales leadership teams directly leads to business growth. A great sales team is one that is highly motivated and inspired by its leaders and has total belief in its own and its company’s ability.

An effective business development plan or sales training initiative will enable sales leadership teams to deliver the growth that a company seeks. Critically, it will ensure that any underlying sales force development initiative adds sustained value and makes a transformational contribution to a company’s business results, rather than being an expensive overhead and a burden to the sales team.

The content, length of modules, and even the resourcing levels for an effective sales leadership development programme should be determined as a response to specific business challenges and aspirations. A discovery phase should shape a common agreement and understanding of the challenges that need to be met.

Some parts of the design should also be deliberately kept flexible to accommodate new insights as the programme progresses. The team should be challenged, supported, coached, assisted and trained to become the leadership team they need to be in order to deliver those results.

Written by: Steve Eungblut, Managing Director of Sterling Chase

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