I am really curious what this sales community thinks a great sales leader is? What defines that person to you? I have written my column this week on sales leaders and offer some of my initial thoughts on what a great sales leader should look like.
As sales professionals, we have all worked under a variety of leaders and, as a result, have been shaped and sharpened by those experiences. I think about my sales career and how much influence some really great sales leaders have had on me. Of course, that works both ways, and I can also point to areas that have not been as…hmm…should I say not as helpful, but have shown me what not to do and by default, pointed me in the right direction. I have some great anecdotes and stories of some of my best sales leaders, which I will share in the future. I am still friends with many of them today.
Now, somewhat tangential and very much related is this question – How do leadership styles need to be different to create a successful sales community from the leadership styles necessary to lead non-sales professionals? Can sales leaders be great leaders of non-salespeople? I am sure there are skills and values that intersect and are similar, but where do they diverge? I have taught sales training classes to the non-sales professional, and if nothing else, I have learned that everyone wants to work with great leaders who inspire them to do great work!