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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Nurturing a Positive Sales Leader-Salesperson Dynamic

Nurturing a Positive Sales Leader-Salesperson Dynamic

Think for a minute about the very best leader you ever had. Then, think about the worst.

Likely, you have definite feelings on both. How did you feel when you moved on from the job with that very best leader?

You probably had second thoughts and wondered if you could have made that position work for you despite changing circumstances.

What about that worst manager? You probably walked away without a backward glance, relieved to never see them again.

How to Support Your Sellers

A positive, strong relationship between the leader and seller is incredibly important. Positive relationships increase productivity, lower attrition, and a great team culture.

In our recent Media Sales Report, a staggering 93% of sellers felt supported by their sales manager. 93%. A huge round of applause goes out to all of the sales managers who are going the extra mile to help and support their team’s success.

We want to see that number up at 100% next year, so let’s explore the formula for a great relationship.

5 Questions Sales Leaders Ask to Improve Sales Performance


In almost every article written on how to be a great leader and how to have a strong bond with your team, regardless of industry or location, communication is at the very top of the list. Why? Because every other aspect of being a great leader hinges on having great communication skills.

  • Listen with purpose. Actively listen to your teammates. Focus on the seller, stay alert to their body language, and don’t talk until they are done talking.

  • Ask questions. Repeat what you heard to show you were listening, and take notes to make sure you didn’t miss anything important.

  • Ask how they like to communicate. Have each person share their communication style and share yours. If you have different methods of communication, practice adjusting to their style.|

  • Practice your non-verbal communication skills. Put away anything that might distract you, make great eye contact, and pay attention to your body language, staying open and interested.

In a busy world, leaders need to practice pausing for a minute, focusing on their team members, and actively listening. This is the first key to a great relationship.

Trust and Transparency

To be an effective leader, your team must be willing to come to you for help and trust you. How can you build a trusting relationship with your team and coach them to trust each other?

  • Do what you say you will do. Follow through on promises and deliver results on time.

  • Be transparent. As a coach and as a team, honesty and transparency are vital to keeping trust. If a leader makes a mistake, they own it and encourage team members to do the same.

  • Always be willing to help others. Strong leaders are ready and willing to help the team, and the team knows it.

7 Ways to Improve Your Leadership Skills

Positive Recognition, Celebrating Successes, and Coaching

Receiving positive feedback on performance is one of the most important things a manager can give their team. When they are doing well, people have a deep-seated need to hear it. They want to know they are on the right track. When people are struggling, they want to know why. As a leader, it's your job to help them with both.

  • Make a point to catch each person doing something well daily. Teams thrive in a positive atmosphere.

  • Find out how each person on the team likes to be recognized and celebrated. Do they prefer public recognition or private? When they are awesome, who should hear about it?

  • Coach in the moment. Don’t wait for a one-on-one or review to give constructive feedback.


People like to feel a sense of control over their work. To keep your team from feeling overwhelmed by the many tasks on their plate, help them to set priorities and then let them have control.

  • Support their autonomy. Give sellers the freedom to decide how they will do their work. Give them the rules, guidelines, timelines, and deadlines, and then take your hands off the wheel and let them do it their way as much as possible. No one likes a micromanager.

  • Create opportunities for sellers to develop and demonstrate competence. Sellers need to feel competent and see the impact their efforts have on the team and company. Give them projects that align with their talents but may be outside their comfort zone, give them feedback and encouragement, and allow them to develop a new skill that can help them shine in their job.

Personal Interest

Once upon a time, the prevailing wisdom with management was not to get too close to coworkers for fear that coaching, correcting, or even letting someone go would be harder if they were friends.

The view has changed. Laying off a team member will always be hard, regardless of the relationship, but if you know your team and can individualize your coaching, hopefully, it won’t be necessary.

  • Show interest and get to know each other. Leaders who show personal interest in their team members are better able to individualize their coaching. How do they like to be recognized, rewarded, and given guidance?
  • What is their dream? What do they see in their future, not just professionally, but personally? Understanding their vision can give you clues as to what drives them and where and how they see themselves and their future. Do their dreams align with their career trajectory?

Great leaders lead great teams. Set a monthly or quarterly goal to pick an area to focus on. Let’s set a goal to have 100% of sellers feel that leader support in 2025!


Topics: leadership sales coaching employee development