The 5 Characteristics of a Great Sales Leader

Q:  What makes a great sales leader?

The best sales managers / directors / VPs:

  • Recruit great team members. Sales requires a linear number of hires to grow bookings. So you have to be a great recruiter to scale.  In fact, the best sales leaders always upgrade the team within 60 days of taking a new role.  It’s the most sure-fire way to hit the plan.  More here.
  • Retain the top hires. The top closers leave when they are frustrated, but stay when they have a great boss, a good mission and are well paid.  More here.
  • Know their competitive wedge. If you aren’t #1, there’s always an excuse. But the best sales leaders know where they are #1. Or even, manufacture it a bit. They find a key feature, a key differentiator where they win. Not in every deal of course. But a wedge that works again and again with a key segment of the customer base at least.  More here.
  • Improve processes to increase revenue per lead. They upgrade the script. Decrease sales cycles. Improve lead routing. Drive up deal size. This alone can drive up revenue 20%-50% or more. Without any additional leads.  More here.
  • Do what they are great at. The best sales leaders might do a bit of everything, but they focus where they are strong. If they are great at inbound, they do mostly that. If they are great at hunting big deals, they focus there. You can’t do everything perfectly in sales, especially in the early days. The best sales leaders know that, and focus 50%+ of their energy on the areas they are strongest at personally.  More here.

Now … if you’ve hired a head of sales … do they pass this 5 part test?  If not, you may not have a real leader.  No matter where they worked, or what’s on their LinkedIn

A deeper dive here: How My VP, Sales Doubled Our Sales in 90 Days. And No, It Wasn’t Magic. | SaaStr

Published on December 17, 2020

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