To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Key leadership skills of great sales leaders

Clinton Oliver Longenecker (Department of Management, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)
Michael L. Mallin (Department of Marketing and International Business, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 25 October 2019

Issue publication date: 14 May 2020

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

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.

Social implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

Longenecker, C.O. and Mallin, M.L. (2020), "Key leadership skills of great sales leaders", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 7-10. https://doi.org/10.1108/DLO-02-2019-0053

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited