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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

What Trait Do Great Sales Leaders Share With Pilots?


Pilots learn that the best way to land a plane is to look long toward the horizon, not directly beneath them. Great sales leaders do the same thing. They focus on the horizon, not just what's right in front of them.

Pilots learn that when landing, you are better off looking down the runway at the horizon than the ground rushing up underneath you. You need to balance keeping your eyes focused on the horizon, while peripherally watching your height above the runway to achieve a smooth landing. We have all felt the runway slam when a pilot gets this wrong.

If you lead a sales organization, you can relate to that feeling of the ground rushing up beneath you! Feels like that every day. Your job is to step back and take time to look out on the horizon so you don’t slam down on the runway.

This is a good reminder as we transition from the end of one year and into the next. As a sales leader, step back and look at the performance measures and leading indicators for your organization and decide if you are going to change any of those for the coming year.

For example, you may have had an important performance measure related to a category of business that has faded or for a product that is no longer doing well in the marketplace. Re-assess your performance metrics and the leading indications that you believe will get you there and message those to your team. Then manage toward those on a consistent basis.

To get your wheels turning, download our Sales Performance Dashboard tips to see examples of Performance Tracking and Leading Indicators.

sales performance dashboard download

Topics: sales performance