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The Top 10 Sales Leadership Issues

By Drew Stevens

Sales Managers have a myriad of issues to deal with. From generational issues to increases struggles of revenue gain, sales leaders feel constantly under attack. Sales leaders need to produce more than previous while increasing margins. In addition, the current economic issues challenge leaders with cost containment, talent retention and profitability gains.

Here are the top 10 issues leadership issues.

1) Leaders must be examples. Leaders need to act in harmony with employees and ensure equal treatment of all. Employees and managers need to operate simultaneously without lines of bureaucracy. Culture within the organization must ensure equality of all and consistent focus on the customer.

2) Bureaucracy. Sales leaders are best served by deleting unneeded bureaucracy. This frustrates staff, creates delays and losses focus on customer needs.

3) Too many silos. Companies are in business for one reason- to create clients. End the infighting and focus on the most vital asset! When the fighting ends (and everybody understands their reason for being employed) perhaps harmony arrives.

4) Lack of co-opting with marketing. Sales and marketing exist in silos and in many instances operate as separate organizations. Selling professionals believe marketing develops pretty brochures and marketing alternatively believes sales people simply make too much money. When these organizations operate synergistically to assist the customer everyone wins.

5) Accountability. The worst issue of the sales leaders job due to lack of time however it is required. Sales professionals must adapt and become productive or face termination. Nothing happens without a sale and everyone needs to operate a maximum efficiency.

6) Talent retention strategies. On boarding requires a coordinated organizational effort to guide and mentor new and existing employees to huge gains in productivity. Research illustrates that 69% of organizations with a structured program have a higher success factor of maintaining employees beyond three years.

7) Lack of co-opting with Customer Service. Similar to working with the Marketing Department, sales leaders must also understand customer issues and customer value. The information gained from shopping the business helps to be tuned into customer issues and their quick resolution.

8) Human Capital Development. Of the 120 billion dollars per year invested in human capital development only a small percentage focuses on sales training. There are three prevalent issues; 1) Sales Managers typically state a lack of time for training, yet nothing is more imperative than an investment in your human capital. 2) Sales Managers typically hold short-term event based training. Development is a process not an event! Beliefs, habits and values will not alter in seven-hour program. 3) No accountability. A travesty of development is the lack of accountability following a development program.

9) Selling Methodology. A report researched from CSO Insights suggests that over 90% of most selling professionals and their organizations lack a selling methodology. It is imperative for a leader to institute an organizational methodology that establishes client value, creates interest and closes sales.

10) Business Analysis. The best sales leaders take the time to shop the business, the competition and the customers. Acknowledging and leveraging the best industry and competitive practices provides foundations for future success.

Read other articles and learn more about Drew Stevens.

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