The top three pitfalls sales leaders fall into

February 26, 2020 by   in kojo blog, KojoPro

Like so many leadership roles, there are a number of common mistakes that sales leaders often make. Of course, we all have our “off” days, but time and again I see patterns of behaviour that hinder sales growth.

Often, sales leaders don’t even realise that their processes or approaches are holding the business back. So, to help address this, I’ve put together an overview of the three most common pitfalls I see sales leaders encounter, and the simple ways to avoid these.

1. Not getting a handle on the levers

Levers of growth are vital for any business, but many businesses fall back on just one. Sales leaders work with an almost constant pressure to achieve business growth, and the five (yes, five!) levers of growth are an excellent starting place to achieve this.

The levers provide an analytical way of looking at different sources of growth — so that you can clearly identify where to focus your energies. They provide a template that you can hold your sales strategy up against to determine if you’re covering all the key approaches.

The five levers include:

1. Customer retention
2. Upselling
3. Cross-selling
4. New customers
5. Pricing

While some of these will be more relevant to your business than others, it’s important to regularly interrogate your growth strategies in order to determine whether you should be paying more attention to underutilised levers.

2. Cutting back on coaching

Both sales leaders and their teams can benefit from coaching — there is always more we can
learn! I often encounter teams that either don’t receive coaching, or don’t receive coaching that they recognise as coaching — thinking it’s just their boss or colleague providing feedback again.

I can’t stress how important coaching is. It’s a proven activity for sustainable results and both you and your team are more likely to take any learnings on board if coaching’s provided in a formal or structured way.

3. Being a ‘super rep’

Sales can be a pretty singular business, so this is a really common stumbling block. Super reps are the sales leaders who are focused on closing deals in order to ensure their team is hitting its targets.

This often mean the teams these sales leaders helm are neglected — left underpowered and underdeveloped. After all, there was no need to empower these individuals because their boss was doing it all!

Ultimately, there are other areas where sales leaders should be adding value, rather than assisting with tasks they should be delegating. Kojopro has a great module called ‘Role of the Sales Manager’ that deals with this exact issue and helps to outline different approaches super rep sales leaders can take to really optimise their departments.

To find out more about these and other learnings that can help sales leaders to create a best-in-class sales organisation, take a look at our helpful catalogue of learning modules.