Why You Must Transform Your Sales Lizards into Sales Leaders

I've said it before and I'll say it here: Sales is the lifeblood of every organization. As a CEO or business leader, you must have a keen eye on revenue. And if you are a company that relies on a sales force, you must be able to depend on your sales leaders to consistently, effectively, and profitably orchestrate new and better business through those sales people.

That's easier said than done when four out of five sales managers are not qualified to do the job they were hired to do. And I'm not sales manager bashing here. If you didn't hire the right manager with the right skills and alignment to to do the job, that's on you. But I'm not CEO or business leader bashing here either. You didn't know there was a better way.

You can't be faulted for falling in love with the idea that the sales managers you hired (like the salespeople you hire) will be able to do the job because it says so on their resume and in their cover letter.

It's not your fault that they told you they could make it rain sales and now you feel lucky if it drizzles now and again.

It's not your fault that you still think it's okay for your sales managers to do the closing instead of developing their salespeople so the salespeople can learn to close their own deals.

I used the word "orchestrate" for a reason. Your sales leaders should be your company's sales conductors. But so often in both large and small companies, the sales leader is expected to regularly play the instruments, too. Imagine a symphony where the conductor had to continually put down the baton and pick up an instrument to get through a concert. That would be ludicrous, no?

The conductor can't be expected to conduct the music and play the music at the same time, even though s/he is no doubt an expert musician. The symphony would not be able to sustain itself if it relied on the conductor to play and conduct every concert?

Well, if your sales manager is regularly filling in the sales gaps, you have a conductor who is playing the role of a musician. And that means that the business of conducting a sales organization is taking a backseat. That also means that the development of your sales force is taking a backseat.

This is sales lizardship, not sales leadership.

What happens to the oboe player's development if the conductor continually steps in to play where the oboist is weak?

Does the oboist learn to play better or do they become overly reliant on the conductor?

What could the conductor do instead of rescuing the oboist and trying to save the performance?

What could the sales conductor do instead of rescuing the salesperson from a valuable lesson and trying to save the sale?

What is at risk if the orchestra leader and the sales leader can't or won't lead?

How can the conductor find time to perform their core leadership functions to grow, manage, and develop the symphony when they are busy stepping in for musicians? They can't. And neither can your sales managers.

What is at risk if the orchestra leader and the sales leader can't or won't lead?

If you have sales managers who are still selling in the gaps instead of helping their salespeople learn to perform better, you aren't alone.

If you are promoting your best salespeople into sales managers and hoping they'll be able to replicate their sales genius through a sales team only to find out that it isn't working, you aren't alone.

If you have sales lizards that need to transform into sales leaders, you need to fix it or you'll never achieve your total vision potential. That means you won't develop every one of your people into the leaders they could have been and you won't reach every possible customer or client you could have reached. More importantly, that means you're squandering talent which is like burning Benjamin Franklins. And it will forever doom your sales culture to waste and mediocrity.

If you are ready to transform your sales lizards into sales leaders, join me for our upcoming live webcast where we will show you exactly what you must do to make this transformation. Register now and we'll send you a white paper on what it takes to create sales force excellence.

I help CEOs, presidents, and entrepreneurs grow their businesses. In addition to providing tools, and strategies, and consulting for growth, my company, Align Strategic, also recruits sales and sales leadership talent with guaranteed results. If you'd like to learn more about Guaranteed Sales Hire, click here.

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