To build a great sales team, you need a great leader. Talented and engaged managers coach and develop their teams, always improving the standards of performance.
They put their people first, but their focus on development doesn’t stop with their direct reports. Highly effective sales managers also spend time on their own growth and development, seeking opportunities to learn and improve.
To keep top leaders engaged, it’s important to provide them with ongoing development opportunities.
According to Apollo Technical, 83% of businesses say developing leaders at all levels is important. Yet less than 5% of companies have implemented leadership development across all levels.
One of the best ways to alleviate this disconnect and develop your leaders is through 360 surveys and coaching.
A 360 survey aligned with the innate strengths that lead to success in the role is an effective starting point for leadership development programs. A program that provides individualized coaching based on the leader’s talents and survey results can help the manager narrow down strategies to develop their strengths and, in turn, positively impact their team’s performance.
Strategies for Managers to Use During 360 Coaching
Here are a few common strategies that leaders, depending on their strengths, often use during 360 coaching:
1. Building talent-focused teams
Great sales leaders recognize that each team member has unique strengths and areas for growth. They work to understand each seller’s talents and create coaching strategies to develop their strengths and work around their weaknesses.
This talent-focused approach sets the entire team up for success and leads to growth. By creating customized development plans for each direct report, they ensure that each person uses their strengths regularly and provide appropriate support in areas of weakness.
2. Individualized coaching
Effective sales leaders offer personalized coaching and mentoring to help individuals enhance their sales skills, develop their strengths, and reach their full potential. They spend time in the field with direct reports and provide feedback by discussing what the individual is doing well and opportunities for improvement.
By focusing on the specific needs of each team member, they create a supportive environment that fosters growth and development.
3. Creating a sense of purpose
Everyone likes to know their work matters. Great sales leaders give their team a sense of purpose by explaining the “why” behind what they need them to do, which can inspire people and move them to action.
They let people know how their work makes a difference in the overall mission of the organization, which helps to motivate the team and improve productivity.
4. Setting clear goals and holding people accountable
Effective sales leaders set ambitious yet realistic goals for their teams. They ensure that these goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely (SMART).
By providing clear targets, they motivate their salespeople to stretch their abilities and strive for excellence. They break down larger goals into smaller milestones, allowing the team to stay on track, celebrate incremental achievements, and maintain momentum.
5. Recognizing and rewarding success
Top sales leaders understand the importance of recognizing and rewarding the achievements of their team members. They celebrate individual and team successes, whether it’s hitting a goal, closing a big deal, or demonstrating exceptional performance.
They tailor recognition to the individual and what is most meaningful to them, such as public acknowledgment, recognition in private, incentives, bonuses, or promotions. By acknowledging and appreciating their efforts, they reinforce a positive culture and inspire continued growth and success.
5. Effectively influencing people and resolving conflicts
At some point, all leaders must deal with pushback and conflict. Preparing for difficult conversations, gathering facts and information, and thinking about each individual’s style and motivation can help resolve conflicts more effectively.
Top sales leaders also recognize the importance of active listening when conflicts arise, or pushback occurs. They strive to understand the concerns, objectives, or disagreements raised by their team members. By actively listening, they show empathy and create a safe space for open communication.
6. Leading with optimism
Leaders with innate positivity and agility are not only more adaptable and open to change, they also help their teams navigate change and work through challenges.
Demonstrating optimism and helping the team believe success is possible improves performance and boosts morale. In sales, things change rapidly. The best leaders understand that change leads to growth, and it’s important to avoid getting stuck in your ways and trying the same things over and over.
There are many different strategies to consider when building a 360-coaching plan. These are a few common ones that are important for leadership development and consistent sales growth.
The first step in creating the right strategies is to get feedback on your innate sales leadership talents and then survey people to better understand how your strengths are coming across to others. This will help you identify top opportunities for growth in areas of talent and build good habits by implementing strategies that are customized to you and your strengths.