Anatomy of Sales Leadership

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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Sales leadership doesn’t start in the C-Suite.

It starts with the individual sellers. Which is why I built The Sales House, but we’ll get back to that…
I remember reading an article a few years ago in the Delta Airlines inflight magazine. It said that Delta’s inflight crews exhibit leadership by being able to adapt to changing circumstances:
“Each of Delta’s nearly 80,000 people around the globe have the opportunity to be leaders in how we handle unpredictable situations, how we use Delta resources, how we take care of each other and how we take care of you.”
I liked this so much that I wrote it down, because it is a great definition of sales leadership.
Salespeople must adapt to the changing requirements of their buyers and lead them to a good decision.
This doesn’t mean leading buyers by the nose. I’m talking about the classic definition of leadership that means INSPIRING others to take actions based on the actions of the leader.
Or, as the great American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “What you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say.
As I wrote in yesterday’s email, this leadership comes in the form of serving the buyer by helping them make a good decision quickly.
Sales is an interactive, iterative process you undertake in collaboration with your buyer.
When sellers and buyers are equally invested in the process, then winning orders will be the logical and inevitable outcome.
Certainly, you should have a well-defined sales process. But, life rarely follows the script.
It’s what a seller does when s/he are forced to deviate from the script that demonstrates whether they possess the qualities of a sales leader or not.
– Andy Paul