What’s the one quality outstanding sales teams have in common? Last week we talked about all the processes required to have an extraordinary sales team. I felt there was something left out of this approach to successful selling. They all share an intangible quality.
They are all led by extraordinary leaders who excel at the soft side of sales leadership. So what are the intangible qualities of sales leadership today?
For most of my career, I’ve worked with highly analytical entrepreneurs. Almost all were engineers, doctors, lawyers, and financial leaders before they took over as a CEO or managing partner. They value my results driven approach to how to lead their business.
This is what I thought until I started talking with my clients over the past several weeks. They told me I helped them develop several intangible qualities that helped them become better market driven leaders. This in turn helped to increase their revenue.
The first intangible quality is intention. How committed is your team to sell your new product or service? How many times have products you thought would be great for your customer missed their mark? How many new products did not get sold because your sale professionals did not intend to sell them? You must have the intention to move them to market.
I bet over 50% of new products and services don’t get sold because your leaders don’t know how to sell them to their internal stakeholders. If you’re going to create extraordinary new products and services, you must intend to take them to market. If your people won’t sell them, look for people who will. We will share several strategies to do this over the coming weeks and months.
The second intangible quality is intuition. When choosing your early adopters, do your sales professionals think logically, or do they consider how or why your customers might want the edge this product might provide them in their markets? Intuition happens when sales professionals are willing to be wrong when talking with their clients. We will talk more about developing your intuition in future blogs. Many analytic leaders are surprised what intuition can do for their leadership capabilities.
Today’s sales professionals know more about their customers than ever before and most are frozen in place by this knowledge. Learning how to understand what a client means, not what they say, is critical to increasing your sales results. This requires that everyone on your team develop and share their intuition.
Help your team members develop and trust their intuition more and you see increasing results quickly. Intuition is one of the tools that set my million dollar clients apart from my billion dollar clients. it’s not taught in business school.
The third intangible quality is imagination. How much time do your sales people spend just thinking about how their product could change the life of their best clients? When you carrying a huge quota and have a sales manager breathing down your back, how often do you think your sales person is going to invest time in developing their imagination?
Imagination is the intangible quality that almost every sales superstar has. Their ability to share their vision of the client’s world can change how they are perceived by their customers.
This is why it’s so critical for product managers to spend time sharing different ideas with your sales team. You need them to spark the thinking of your sales leaders. Once they begin to collaborate more, you may be surprised how much innovative your organization becomes.
The final intangible quality is interconnectedness. How big is the view of your sales leaders? The more time you invest in having your people look at the bigger picture, the higher your sales become. Sales professionals who understand how to connect the dots for clients always have a seat at the clients’ leadership table.
Do this quick test. Ask your sales professionals to tell you what three things are impacting their clients’ revenue for this quarter. Most good sales professionals can name one thing impacting their clients’ world. Great sales professionals can name several. Connect them and even share what your product or service can do to help bridge the gap.
As a coaching sales leader, you should always ask this question. At first, you can start asking it in sales team meetings, so everyone can contribute their ideas. Over time, it should be part of every coaching session you do with your individual team members. I’ve seen this single thing increase sales geometrically with clients. Start with one of these intangible qualities and keep adding new ones to your sales leadership toolkit. Then watch your sales results grow exponentially.
The closer you can get to helping clients make money, the more quickly you become their trusted partner.
This Friday Tricia shares a two minute workout that can help you feel better today and help extend the quality of your life significantly. See you Friday.