From talented to exceptional sales leader
The difference between leadership and management: it’s a much-debated subject on business management sites. In general, leadership is the alleged ‘inspirational’ way of heading a team, while management is the more ‘controlling’ style of giving guidance. We are convinced that a true sales leader joins both aspects of leadership and management in a balanced way.
As a leader, the quality of the sales pipeline deserves part of your attention, why the other half of your time you should focus on tracking progress. You need to make sure your team concentrates on selling the right product-market combinations, and you need to oversee the strategies and tactics of your salesforce. Directing the pursuit of quality in your team entails the coaching aspect of your job: You encourage people to ask the right questions, you enable them to find answers. At the same time however, progress needs to be monitored on the validation of opportunities the company is working on. As a manager, you at all times need to keep an overview of who is where to do what. Here it’s all about follow-up, follow-through and reviewing of what has been done so far, and what needs to be done further to succeed.
Finding equilibrium between managing and leading is thus a continuous challenge, since as a sales leader, you need to embody sort of a hybrid creature, combining the social and soft skills of a caring mother and the hard, rational attitude of the bully with the whip.