What makes them successful? A collaborative leadership style.
Within a sales team, a collaborative leader has vision, presence, commitment and confidence as central traits. These traits help foster achievement within the team. Leaders who take the time to cultivate these ideas can help improve both the culture and atmosphere within their department – and therefore the chances for sales success.
Alignment is key to collaboration. Leading a sales department requires the ability to see its place within the company as a whole and the role that each person has in reaching the sales goals of the company. Collaborative companies focus on role rather than task, as that is the key to effective empowerment.
When organisations can help their sales team see their inherent worth within a company, they can create a culture where everyone – sales staff and support staff - feels valued. This increases the connection and loyalty people have for the business – which inevitably results in increased sales.
When the sales leaders and company leaders articulate how the job of each person impacts the final goals of the organisation, they also help everyone remain focused and more productive. It can help keep teams motivated and focused on the goals – as well as helping them feel ownership of the goals and the results.
Senior managers and directors are generally viewed as the embodiment of the values of that organisation; employees look to them to learn about behavioral expectations. When senior people demonstrate their willingness to hear suggestions and collaborate on projects while also showing respect for employees and valuing their contributions, employees will follow suit. This helps to build a positive and strong work culture where people adopt the company values and goals.
A collaborative leader has confidence in their sales team and therefore trusts them to problem-solve on their own. At the same time, however, the collaborative leader is also willing to step in when needed to support the team (and not just tell them when they have got it wrong). They also create an atmosphere which fosters collaboration in others – within teams and across departments.
Collaboration is key to moving companies forward. When sales staff, who often play a pivotal part in the success of a company, go through the workday in their own circles, without interacting with others, they run the risk of losing sight of their own value and the goals of the organisation as a whole. Work becomes about completing a set number of calls/meetings, rather than helping build the company as a whole towards new heights.
Creating and encouraging a spirit of collaboration will help employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas with one another, brainstorming solutions to problems, and working in sync with one another. For example, when marketing and sales teams get themselves on the same page and collaborate their efforts, businesses can see step change growth in revenue.
When an organisation has strong collaborative leaders managing the company, the business can reach incredible heights. Those interested in learning how to cultivate these traits can begin to improve the professional atmosphere among their organisations, which will help the company reach its goals. Improving the leadership of the organisation will give the company the tools it needs to innovate and position themselves at the forefront of their industry.
By William Buist, owner of Abelard Collaborative Consultancy, and founder of the exclusive xTEN Club - an annual programme of strategic activities for small, exclusive groups of business owners. xTEN helps accelerate growth, harness opportunity, build your business and develop ideas. William is also author of two books: ‘At your fingertips’ and ‘The little book of mentoring’.