The 10 Deadly Sins of Sales Leadership

In no particular order:

  1. An anti-sales culture where the organisation looks down at the sales team and has little or no respect for the function of selling. Engineers thinking they’re better, product specialists thinking they’re more superior and company experts who think they can sell because it looks so easy.
  2. A Sales Leader with an oversized ego that needs stroking all the time, often by claiming all the glory. This is a mistake.
  3. A Sales Leader who wants to solve every problem thrown at her from all over the company. This is a mistake too because it takes her eye of the ball of sales results.
  4. The “Corporate” influence; burying Sales Leaders under a mass of bureaucratic and administrative projects that take their eye of the ball of sales results and generating revenue through their team.
  5. Sales Leaders who drive from their desks with the CRM system using their Sat Nav (GPS) and the phone/email being the only way they speak with their sales people.
  6. Sales Leaders running dull, listless, demotivating sales meetings. These should be energetic, sales skills focused and performance driven.
  7. Too much attention on the next “big thing” – usually something tech based and a plugin for the CRM system. Nothing replaces traditional sales leadership – focus on culture, talent and sales.
  8. Robin Williams was once quoted referring to his extra marital affairs, “A man has a brain and a p….s, but not enough blood to run them both at the same time”. As a Sales Leader you can’t lead and sell at the same time, they’re two completely different jobs. Do the leading not the selling – you have a team to do that for you.
  9. Trying to fix poor performers too much and not taking the inevitable decision to move them out…with dignity.
  10. Little coaching or mentoring from the Sales Leader. Plenty of telling, but this isn’t development or coaching.