Peter Drucker, the well know management and leadership consultant suggests that “management is doing things right” whereas “leadership is doing the right things”. I would suggest there is no better department in an organisation where this rings true than in sales.
Sales is very much about doing a combination of the right activities and doing those activities in the right way. Sales leadership is about ensuring your sales team is focussed on, capable of and motivated to do the right things. However, anyone that has been in sales like myself will know that sometimes you can do all the right things in the right way and those sales still won’t drop. The reality is that not even a great product will guarantee you success in 2017.
Sales leadership is becoming more strategic, more strategic when finding routes to market, more strategic in building a team, more strategic in developing that team and more purposeful when it comes to innovation.
With our clients I like to talk about 'mapping’, it’s a concept that we are all familiar with and can relate to. Simply put, if you were going to navigate a route the first thing you need to do is work out where you are on the map followed by where you are trying to get to. However, the realities of your current situation often determine whether you get there at all.
There is a model used throughout the HR world that surmises this topic very well, it is called EVR Congruence. The idea is simple, a harmonious organisation operates in the right environment, with the right resources in place, underpinned by a fitting set of values.
As seen in the graphic below, sales strategy needs to embrace all the realities of these three areas.
In summary sales leadership is more than just about motivation, more than setting and pursuing targets it’s actually about enabling the success of a whole organisation through well planned, well informed and well-executed strategy.