The purpose of this research paper is to identify and describe the key leadership skills associated with great leaders in the sales discipline. Nine critically important sales leadership skills are identified and discussed in this manuscript with the purpose of getting sales leaders think about skill set development while providing those responsible for sales leadership development an opportunity to think through some critically important questions.
A sample of over 300 sales personnel were asked to individually describe the best sales leader with whom they had ever worked for during your career. Focus groups were then conducted to identify the most critical skills for sales leadership success. A content analysis of the focus group findings were then used to tabulate the key findings in this paper.
Key findings from this focus group study identified a wide range of critically important leadership skills and behaviors that included: emotional intelligence and 360° communication skills, possessing the ability to effectively coach and develop sales personnel, the ability to create clear performance expectations and accountability, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills, the ability to engage a sales workforce, strategic acumen, character and integrity, and data Mining and analytical skills, among others.
The key findings from this research provide the reader with a host of potentially testable hypotheses as well as ideas and findings for future sales leadership research. 10;This study provides a clear roadmap for sales leaders to develop critically important skill sets needed for improving a sales force's performance and revenue generation capabilities. 10.
This study provides a clear roadmap for sales leaders to develop critically important skill sets needed for improving a sales force's performance and revenue generation capabilities.
The social implications of the study make it clear that great sales leaders take great care of their workforces, develop their people, and demonstrate great character and integrity in the workplace.
This paper will identified nine specific leadership skills and practices required for high performance in this regard. Focus group findings will challenge the readers thinking on several key fronts while at the same time providing them with a punch list of critically important behaviors that can be targeted and developed. This information is important for both individual performers as well as those responsible for sales leadership development in their organizations.
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