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Introduction

I am a Senior Team Captain here at Alleyoop and I have thrived in helping others grow, learn, and reach their full potential in Sales. I knew I was destined to be a leader instead of a follower since Pre-K when I stood on top of my chair in class, pointed my finger at other students, and gave them directives. My teacher, God bless him, Mr. Armstead, told my mother during the parent-teacher night, “Ms. Viera, what Sharon needs to understand is that I am the teacher and she is the student.” Well 35 years later, my take-charge spirit has not led me astray.

In the dynamic and competitive realm of sales, being a leader is not just about achieving sales targets and managing a team; it’s about inspiring and empowering individuals to reach their full potential. I have learned over my almost 3 years at Alleyoop that great sales leaders possess a unique set of skills and qualities that set them apart. In this blog post, we’ll explore essential strategies and principles to help you become a standout leader in the sales world–and these are lessons I have learned in trial by hire and rolling with the punches.

Lead By Example

As a sales leader, your team looks up to you for guidance and inspiration. Lead by example in every aspect of your work, from prospecting and closing deals to maintaining strong customer relationships. Show your team what it means to be committed, proactive, and diligent, and they will follow suit. I will get in the trenches and make calls to show my team how exactly things get done. It is important you do not come off as someone who gives directives but does not understand or is not willing to do the work.

Cultivate a Positive Mindset

Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial in the sales world. Sales can be challenging, with frequent rejections and setbacks. A positive attitude is contagious and can motivate your team to persist even in the face of adversity. Encourage resilience, celebrate successes, and help your team turn failures into learning opportunities. You have to relish in the successes of your team and encourage to celebrate all of the little victories day by day.

Foster Open Communication

Effective communication is the foundation of successful leadership. Cultivate an environment where open and honest communication thrives. Encourage your team members to share their ideas, concerns, and feedback. Actively listen to them, provide constructive feedback, and facilitate collaborative discussions. By fostering open communication, you create a culture of trust and transparency, boosting team morale and productivity. My teams know I am here for them and although they know there is a lot on my plate, they feel comfortable enough to ask for 5 minutes here and there for a quick talk. If your reps feel they can never talk to you, they will never fully open up and help you understand their challenges fully or what is wrong with them or what they are experiencing.

Set Clear Goals and Expectations

To lead your team towards success, establish clear goals and expectations. Communicate these objectives with clarity, ensuring every team member understands their role and responsibilities. Break down the larger goals into smaller, achievable milestones, and track progress regularly. By setting tangible targets, you provide a sense of purpose and direction, motivating your team to excel. You cannot start setting expectations after the fact and back petaling. Your reps msut know what’s expected from them up front so they can be clear what their goals are and don’t end up coming to you a month down the road stating, “You never told me that..I had no clue that was expected from me..”

Invest in Training and Development

Continual learning and development are vital for both individual and team growth. Invest in training programs, workshops, and resources to enhance the skills and knowledge of your sales team. Offer coaching and mentorship opportunities to foster professional growth.

By prioritizing development, you empower your team to adapt to evolving market dynamics and perform at their best. The only way I became better as an SDR was through daily practice and role-play. And reps must not think they are done with learning when their initial training is done, learning and re-reviewing the product they are selling must take place every day to keep things fresh in their minds.

Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork

Sales is often a team effort, and fostering collaboration can drive exceptional results. Encourage your team members to collaborate, share best practices, and learn from one another. Foster a supportive and cooperative culture where everyone feels valued and supported. By leveraging the collective strengths of your team, you can achieve remarkable outcomes and foster a sense of camaraderie. I work in a remote atmosphere, so promoting collaboration is especially essential here. Some reps that possess strengths in certain things can share with other reps that are not as strong in those areas. I believe in peer learning and not just me sitting there telling all my reps to only listen to me as if I know and am excellent in everything sales. Some of my best inspirations and knowledge have come from my peers.

Lead with Empathy

Empathy is a powerful leadership quality that enables you to understand and connect with your team members on a deeper level. Recognize that each person has unique strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. Show genuine care and concern for their well-being, and be empathetic towards their challenges. By demonstrating empathy, you create a positive and inclusive work environment, fostering loyalty and dedication. This is the most important point for me. We are all humans and must express empathy. That does not take away from the fact that I still must be direct as a leader, but I always lead with empathy.

Conclusion

I don’t proclaim to be a guru in Sales and the best leader out there, rather I continue to learn every day and pass whatever I learn on to my team. And what I wanted to do with this blog is share what has worked for me over the years so you, if you are looking to be a leader in Sales, do not have to learn the hard way and trial by fire.

Sharon Viera-Crespo
Senior Team Captain

February 20, 2023 in Featured, Industry, SDR

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