Updated: Feb 11
Mastering leadership, sales and results.
Four years ago I launched Pivotal Coaching. I had a vision for how executive coaching could impact revenue growth. I was passionate about the potential that professionals had to realize better leadership, sales and results with coaching, great coaching. I saw the opportunity to use coaching programs to shift the prevailing stigma around developing sales skills to selling success. I am hopeful that companies are now seeing the compelling conditions to invest in leadership, sales and coaching. Today and for the next few years, sales have never needed more attention. Now is the time for companies to take a hard look at investing in sales leadership skills. The results are easy to measure, and the business case undeniable.
What’s making salespeople uncomfortable?
Sales and salespeople take an intentional style of leadership. 2020 has taken a toll on salespeople and they are the most optimistic professionals in business. Their ability to deflect so many “no’s” and celebrating the hard earned “yes” takes a distinctive personality. In today’s selling climate, even their positive and resilient personalities are being tested. They will need extra support.
In business conditions that see the persistence, and likely the permanent continuation, of virtual selling, keeping salespeople and buyers engaged requires an adapted style of interaction. Sales professionals are having to work differently and from behind screens. Many successful sellers are having to change and learn new skills. Even the top performers can use more coaching. They are embracing the discomfort of learning and practicing new sales skills, in a way that they likely haven’t experienced for many years.
Salespeople need strong leadership to lead them back in their highest performing potential and results.
Virtual Selling Priorities
An effective sales process framework has many pieces. Sales is both a science and an art. So what should leaders get focused on to get accelerated results? My focus is on the people performance side. High performance is the mastery of the technical and soft skills of sales. High performance is driven through managing, leading and coaching salespeople. To get to results, the two areas that are being fuelled by virtual selling trends are; predicting the buyer and interpersonal savviness. For outside B to B salespeople, they have the highest need for realizing a new level of mastery of these skills. Their former intuitive in person style doesn’t translate into virtual selling.
Predicting the Buyer
Investing time to predict the buyer and plan the meeting is an imperative for having the right selling conversation. Salespeople get less access to companies, less time with buyers and are using meeting technology differently. The pre-work for meetings is different and very important. Strategic selling has now been taken to the next level. Investing time and effort to do the research for planning the selling conversation is an essential sales habit.
Behind the screen, it will be interpersonal savviness that is going to matter. How you show up and how you read people in a 2D meeting takes new skills. The best salespeople have strong interpersonal savvy having mastered how to flex to diverse personalities. Interpersonal skills mastery comes from self-knowledge, self-awareness and practice.
Great communications are at the heart of buying relationships. No two conversations are the same. We need to help our teams keep practising and learning in a virtual world.
Getting to Know Yourself and Your Team Again
With the degree that sales teams have changed in the last 10 months, the Tuckman model rings true as teams iterate through forming, storming and norming. To build a High-Performing Team, it’s timely to do a health check on the basics like sales mindset, trust, self-confidence and competencies. Through our Pivotal Growth Diagnostic services, I am helping leaders get to know themselves and their teams. I can help leaders get clarity on the right people focus for 2021 sales performance.
The Pivotal Growth Diagnostic tool is a proprietary technology enabled tool that helps identify sales leader’s capacity in key performance areas including interpersonal savviness, leadership and execution. Think of it as a collective and detailed personality and confidence breakdown on individuals and teams. This newly introduced technology analyses quantitative and qualitative data from individual input.
I see three essential business focuses in the recovery: leadership, sales and results. 2020 changed us as individuals, teams and communities. Re-assessment of skills and development plans, including yours, is a valuable investment.
To work ourselves through and out of this pandemic it will take people performance. Your salespeople need you. They need great sales leadership as your company still needs results.
Our focus is developing triple threats. We want to help you optimize leadership, sales and results for 2021 and beyond.
Lisa W. Haydon is a high business acumen leader, credentialed sales professional, and executive coach. Lisa has led teams and clients in industries such as banking, commercial lending, capital markets, technology, consulting, and professional services. Her hands-on experience in executing change and growth mandates enhances client results. She is known for delivering transformational results with diagnostic tools, consulting and coaching. Lisa is the founder of Pivotal Coaching, which specializes in sales effectiveness and leadership development services for companies optimistic and ambitious about growth. More information is available on the Pivotal Coaching website. For more on its proprietary diagnostic tool, visit our services page.