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The Courage To Be A Great Sales Leader

by David Brock on February 14th, 2020

It takes great courage, self confidence, and conviction to be a great sales leader.

Think of the job for a moment. It’s a job where there are no “right answers.” There are a variety of methods, strategies, and approaches to achieving the organization’s goals. Each has it’s pros/cons, none is guaranteed to work. But you have to do something.

It’s a job of immense complexity, change, disruption, and uncertainty. Our customers are changing (and facing changes) rapidly, our competition is changing-with new competitors appearing every day, our markets are changing, and our companies are changing. Despite all of this, great sales leaders must figure out how to adapt, change, and respond.

There’s the timing challenges, specifically time to results. Anything we change or implement now, may take months or years until we see the results of those changes. For example, if we implement a new sales methodology, we have to go through several sales cycles to know that we are getting the results, with the consistency, we expected. And if those sales cycles are long…… Of course we look for all the early signs, and leading indicators, but we have to have the confidence we have made the right choices and the courage to give them the time to work.

Very little is actually in our “control.” We don’t control our customers or markets. We don’t control our people. We have to have the confidence that we have the right people in place. That we’ve done everything possible to equip them to perform at the highest levels possible, that we are continually coaching and helping them improve. We have to have the confidence they understand what they need to do, how to do it, and that they are driven to perform. Then we have to have the courage to let go and let them do their jobs.

We know we will fail, possibly more than we succeed and that we have to constantly learn, change, innovate and adapt. We know nothing is guaranteed. We know the only answer to virtually every question is, “It depends….”

Yet we know if we don’t succeed, we fail our customers, we fail our companies, we fail our people, and we fail for ourselves and what we want to achieve.

In the face of all of this and more, we are driven to do our jobs. We are driven to constantly learn, improve, adapt, and change.

It takes great courage, confidence and conviction to be a sales leader.

It takes caring, as well–but that’s another post.

One Comment
  1. Dave,

    I couldn’t agree with you more, and honestly, this is the part of the job I love! One time, we were tired of losing to this one competitor and so we began an internal campaign around everything we knew about them and began putting statements in our sales approach that would challenge our buyer to test the validity of this competitor’s sales process and solution, but in a professional way that did not divulge who the competition was – these were general statements about what to challenge any seller about to ensure you are getting the best solution. This became a huge success and we turned around our win rate against this competitor. However, we had to change what we were saying, how we were saying it and provide more detail on our differentiators – talk about getting outside your comfort zone! However, it worked and that made us realize that to stay relevant to your clients, you must evolve and always have that competitive spirit to test and challenge yourself.

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