A leader is someone who leads, sets the lines and gives direction. Leaders come in different shapes and sizes and it is not always about hierarchical leadership. Commercial leadership is much more about how you (with changes) can structurally increase the success of yourself, your employees and your company. The goal is therefore: taking the lead in order to get the most out of yourself and your team commercially.
We give you tips to actually put commercial leadership into practice. And we will show you which roles you can take in your sales function.
It’s a dynamic time and perhaps your customers, their expectations and the way you use sales effectively are changing. So how do you apply commercial leadership in practice? That is crucial for understanding and managing your own behavior… and that of others. When you use the tips below, you not only manage for results, but also for development and that always leads to more motivation and better performance.
#1 Develop proactively as a team
The needs and the way of sales has changed a lot over the years. The big difference is that you don’t just have to be customer friendly anymore. To increase results, you need to be much more proactive. To do this, you have to be customer-oriented; that means helping without being asked. Ask yourself what the expectations of your customers are. How can you take the initiative to be one step ahead of your customers? Get that clear for your customers and colleagues.
#2 Train and coach the team
You can easily coach by, for example, scheduling an extra half hour after a meeting. Then share practical, current topics. Or maybe it’s good to organize a training anyway if you want to learn certain skills. If the space is there, spend a day listening to how your colleagues do on the phone. Try to stimulate development through training and coaching. Also listen to what the needs of yourself and your colleagues are. What would they like to get better at or do they still need support?
#3 Work not only with performance goals, but also with development activities or goals
There are three ways to encourage your team and colleagues to bring out the best in themselves. You can steer on:
- Results and concrete goals, such as in euros or returns.
- Activities, such as the number of appointments or quotations.
- Knowledge and skills, the way in which the work is performed.
They are communicating vessels. And also to gain insight into performance as an individual, goals at different levels help to intrinsically motivate and inspire yourself and colleagues. Therefore, it is good to translate the expected results or goals into concrete and measurable activities.
But in addition to these practical tips, how do you ensure continued success? To achieve that, there are three roles you can take on in your sales job in different situations. After all, you want to motivate your colleagues to get the most out of themselves.
In this role you give direction to where you all have to go, i.e. with the company, your colleagues and your team and possibly your employees as individuals. It is important to create an ambitious working atmosphere where everyone knows where they stand and what is expected of them. In this way you create clarity and there is a certain ‘us’ feeling among colleagues with the same level of solidarity.
In this role, you are the developer of your team, on a personal and professional level. Spend time developing, retaining and building on the talents of your colleagues. As a team, you can do this by having a short team meeting that clearly discusses what is to come. Having individual conversations between colleagues or as a manager is something that helps in realizing the goals. What we see is that this is often thought of but not structurally implemented. While this is precisely important to motivate you and your team, to support and to help them move forward. For this you will need to have regular discussions with them – individually. This creates an open feedback culture.
As a supervisor, you make sure things are in order. You do this by listening, giving and receiving feedback and critically look at how you spend your time efficiently. And by ensuring that all practical conditions such as necessary tooling, training and working conditions are properly arranged.
Do you also want to take your commercial leadership to the next level? Just get started! Which tips will you take into account in your daily work? We are curious what works best for you and your team to make your sales performance go through the roof. Let us know.