Leadership and Perseverance-Guest Blog by Susan Ershler

George Bernard Shaw wrote, “He who can, does.  He who cannot, teaches.”  But when it comes to sales, nothing could be further from the truth.

Due to their ability to close business, top performers are often promoted to positions of authority.  Many of our most successful companies are headed by CEOs who began their careers in sales and then rose through the ranks.

Sales executives take on a new challenge when they step into management.  They must now help their team members develop the knowledge and skills they acquired on their climb to the summit of sales success.  They must become a guide, inspiring the next generation of top performers:

·         Mentor and Teach:  As a sales rep, your primary goal was to meet your individual sales quota.  Now you’re responsible for an entire sales team that’s charged with producing a significant portion of your company’s revenue.  Effective leaders draw on their experience to motivate and guide others.

·         Set High Expectations:  Sales leaders know that it’s all too easy to live down to low expectations.  So they set ambitious goals for each team member and express unshakeable faith in their ability to excel.  In response to setbacks, leaders offer constructive feedback and advice.  They never embarrass their direct reports by criticizing them in public.

·         Build Trust:  Strong leaders treat their teams with respect.  They build trust by listening carefully to each individual’s concerns and consistently following through on their commitments.  They’re also willing to offer a helping hand from time to time.

·         Provide Recognition:  Everyone thrives on recognition.  When a team member meets a goal, be sure to congratulate them both individually and in a group setting.  First, they’ll feel freshly motivated to pursue their next goal.  Secondly, it will inspire their fellow team members to redouble their efforts.

·         Celebrate Your Team’s Achievements:  Make sure the leaders of your company know about the contributions made by everyone on your sales in closing an important piece of business or achieving some other important goal.  Employees are most loyal and productive when they feel appreciated and engaged.

This article is adapted from CONQUERING THE SEVEN SUMMITS OF SALES:  From Everest To Every Business, Achieving Peak Performance.

Susan Ershler and her husband, Phil, became the first couple in history to climb the Seven Summits.  She is a sought-after international speaker who has served in leadership positions for Fortune 500 companies for more than twenty years.  

She is co-author of Conquering The Seven Summits Of Sales:  From Everest To Every Business, Achieving Peak Performance as well as Together on Top of the World.


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