The primary objective of a business is to add value to its customer through a service or product, while profiting from it. This could mean a fast computing system for a large corporation or lifesaving equipment for a hospital. However, without a sales team, none of these can be truly appreciated by the end user.
Hence, the sales department is an important function within an organization, irrespective of the industry, as it helps an organization to translate its concept into a revenue generator. Therefore, organizations are always in the lookout for good sales leaders who can enable the business to scale, and add to the bottom line of the company.
So what do they look for in a great sales leader, or what are the attributes of a successful Salesman?
- Planning: To start with, the Sales Leader should be able to derive strategies for sales, set profit-based sales targets, sales forecasting & most importantly execute the written plan. Excellent business acumen, coupled with the drive to think out of the box will take the company to newer heights.
- People skills: The individual should be extremely good at customer skills including being a great people manager, because down the line, the sales teams that will directly or indirectly report to the leader need to be coached.
- Negotiator: Strong negotiation skills can help in a productive outcome in sales.
- Leadership skills: Sales requires strong leadership. The Sales Leader should be able to share the vision to the team by adopting it, and be able to achieve it through the team by leading.
We, at Wenger & Watson Inc., are associated with Tech and Non Tech startups to identify sales leaders for them. What we have seen In the last year is that Sales Leader Hire is the first step towards strengthening a startup’s sales team when they venture into a market / region.
This individual is responsible for setting up the business from scratch. In such times he/she conducts market research, generates leads, develops key accounts and builds sales teams while doing everything required to grow the business with an attitude of a leader who never says “that wasn’t a part of my role”! Most importantly, the individual should be excellent at multitasking as his or her achievement will be measured on how the business grew from x to 2X, 5X, 10X & more.
Working with a startup usually brings in growth opportunities for a sales professional and hence, they may/may not be hired necessarily on a fixed pay, albeit with a large portion of stocks which will be worth a lot, depending on how the company takes shape, where the individual has played a significant role.
Responsibilities of Head Sales Leader:
- Growing Sales: To do this, the sales manager will need to get an increased number of orders, and also expand the customer base.
- Product awareness: Will be involved in marketing the product to potential customers in the region.
- Travel: Travel extensively to build customers and maintain customer relationship.
- Group Reporting: Regularly report the status on the sales and potential opportunities to the global HQ, give presentations and seek advice if needed.
- Build Team: Prepare long term plans w.r.t recruiting the right staff and drive the vision for the organization.
However, for a Sales Leader to play this important role within business, the individual needs to be motivated by organization’s vision while being empowered to act on serving client’s interests.