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Sales Strategy
5 Tips for Becoming a More Supportive Sales Leader
May 4, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

A sales team is only as strong as its leader, and great leaders know being supportive is one of the most important qualities they can have.

There are five great ways you can go about becoming a more supportive leader for your team.

1. Listen to Your Team

You need to be able to listen closely to what your salespeople are telling you. Whether it’s the struggles they’re having with a certain account, a strategy that isn’t working for them, or even a dispute they’re having with someone else on the team, your salespeople are looking for guidance from you.

The only way you’ll be able to offer them the support they need is by actively listening and taking an interest in what they’re saying. Sales leaders who listen find their employees are much more loyal and motivated to work hard on their behalf.

Ultimately, your reps want to know that if they are having problems, there is somewhere they can go where their issues will be heard and addressed.

2. Ask for Feedback

If asking for feedback sounds similar to listening to your team, there is actually one key difference to consider. Whereas with listening, you make yourself available to your reps should they need to take something up with you, asking for feedback is a process that involves going to your employees and actively soliciting their opinions.

We don’t always have the best perspective on the way we conduct ourselves. Though we like to think our intentions and actions line up, this isn’t always the case. Asking for feedback from your team is one of the best ways you can learn how your leadership strategy is actually coming across to your employees and how you can deal with leadership issues. With honest feedback, you can begin to recognize what needs to change in order for you to become a more supportive sales leader.

3. Give Positive Feedback

Positive reinforcement can be beneficial for your team. A lot of the time, salespeople only receive feedback when it’s negative in nature. While critical feedback may be necessary to help an individual salesperson improve performance, if it’s the only kind of feedback that you’re dishing out, then you have a problem.

Your salespeople need to understand you recognize the good work they do. If they feel supported in this way, they will be that much more motivated to continue performing at a higher level. For some reps, without positive feedback, they begin to feel like their sales leader doesn’t really care about them or their performance, and that can be detrimental.

4. Hold Regular Update Meetings

Keeping your reps in the loop is another great way of showing you care about them, want them to be informed, and value their insights into the process. An environment where there is open and clear communication about the things that are happening will also be an environment where your employees will feel more comfortable bringing things to you or communicating ideas of their own.

Like some of our earlier tips, when you start holding regular update meetings you’ll begin to notice loyalty and performance will increase among your team.

5. Get Your Hands Dirty

This final tip is one of the most important. If you don’t understand what it’s actually like to do the job you’re asking of your salespeople, then you won’t be able to lead them effectively. The issues they’re dealing with can have a real impact on your bottom line; helping them tackle those issues and improve their performance means understanding what it means to deal with those issues first hand. Consider this one of the secret to sales leadership: Get your hands dirty, and your team will appreciate you for it.

About the Canadian Professional Sales Association
Since 1874, we’ve been developing and serving sales professionals by providing programs, benefits, and resources that help you sell more, and sell smarter. 

Contact us today at MemberServices@cpsa.com or 1-888-267-2772 to see how we can help you and your team reach new heights in sales success.

Copyright ©2017 by The Canadian Professional Sales Association
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