Creating Sales Leaders

Creating Sales Leaders

Too many times I see organizations failing to create their leaders of tomorrow.  What’s your plan for the future? Who is going to take your place one of these days? The sad part is that “one of these days” will be here sooner than we all expect—and we must have people groomed to continue to grow our businesses and our profession into the future.

While it is vitally important to “train” salespeople properly, I believe it is also as important to identify those who will be the leaders of tomorrow and develop them for that role. In order to do that we must first recognize that in ANY organization there are three types of people: those that want more responsibility but can’t handle it, those that can handle it but don’t want it and that select few who can not only handle increased responsibility but also want to grow as a leader.

Those are the ones you must grab onto and nurture and develop.

Secondly, we must constantly challenge those salespeople to reach new heights; to stretch beyond the boundaries they thought were possible and to become the example-setters. If they are going to lead tomorrow they must be led today.

The third thing you should do is mentor and coach these salespeople on the importance of being a leader. Work with them on their leadership skills as much as you do their sales skills. Become a sounding board for them to ask questions and hone their craft. Make it your goal to personally share your experience and knowledge with them.

Finally, provide honest feedback. Let these future leaders know you’re going to be more critical of them than anyone, but it’s because you expect more from them. Always be honest with your criticism and keep in mind you are building a leader while you are delivering it.

Your best salesperson is not always your best leader and your best leader will not always be your best salesperson. Look for leadership and management traits in everyone. Some will surprise you.

Hopefully, these steps will help you find, mold and shape the leaders of tomorrow in your sales organization.