To follow on to earlier blog posts, and the AA-ISP Annual Leadership Summit help April 20-22, our Birds of a Feather Roundtable tackled the subject of High Performing Sales Leaders. Or better titled, How to Not Suck as Sales Leader”.
The final nugget that came up in our Birds of a Feather Roundtable at the AA-ISP Leadership Summit, was how to manage up. Man, that’s a tough one. Middle management, not to mention Sales Management, is not for the faint of heart.
Here’s what we talked about:
Managing your team is about ownership, driving behavior, desired outcomes, etc. Managing up and around the organization, to your boss and other teams, is about conversation facilitation. Wow. Let’s say that again:
Managing your team is about ownership, driving behavior, desired outcomes, etc. Managing up and around the organization is about conversation facilitation.
Here are some ideas to help with facilitation:
If you’re organization is siloed, perhaps host a Leadership Networking Session or Speed Dating. Have an agenda: everybody come prepared to talk about three things:
- What you do/what your team does
- Most pressing issue
- Biggest butterfly effect issue (meaning what issues get pushed down stream)
This is NOT a complaint session. Set the rules, have a facilitator, align the conversations to the company’s goals for the year.
We also said, hey, we’re Sales Leaders! What if we put our sales hats on and approached our counterparts as if we were consultatively selling to them? What if we took the time to craft a value proposition before talking to our HR, Finance, Marketing, Sales Ops, etc., counterparts? What if we took the time to craft the value proposition before we talked to our bosses? We’re still responsible for a desired outcome, however, facilitating the conversation takes more finesse as we’re bringing people into our world and day that have their own world and day to take care of. Food for thought.
This concept is also great for Sales Leaders that manage Managers. What are the best ways to keep your Managers aligned and sharing a vision and goal? There’s still driving and ownership, however, there’s also the facilitation piece. Phew! Being a good leader isn’t easy.