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Updated 24 Sep 2020

9 Top tips to accelerate you from entrepreneur to sales leader

Entrepreneurs often fail because they do not build a solid sales team around them and may lack a sales leadership mentality. You cannot conquer the world by yourself. To grow your business, you will need to empower and engage with sales staff. So how do you do this? 

Roy Clark, 14 August 2016  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

Sales forms a critical component of any business that aspires to turn a profit. Small businesses can only become big businesses through selling more goods or services and hiring more people.

These quick tips can help you move from being an entrepreneur to a sales leader faster:

1. Move away from pure selling

Too often, business owners try to maintain control over ‘owning sales’ and will leave the scraps to their sales staff. If you have employed and trained the right people you should let your team run. Does Adrian Gore sell Medical Aid policies? No!

2. Focus on client strategy, client mining and client understanding

Your job is to look at the sales environment strategically. Engage with clients at a high level and introduce your sales staff and coordinate these sales teams. This allows you, as the sales leader, to manage the client relationship at a high level and be in touch with your industry.

Looking at clients strategically at this level will also enable you to look at other solutions or cross sell opportunities for your clients, further entrenching your business with them.

Related: How your small start-up can make a superstar sales team

3. Pass client knowledge onto your sales teams

Don’t hold onto knowledge. The more your staff know about the industry and clients, the better they will be able to sell.

4. Create client analytics in order to make an informed decision

Having accurate data about clients can help you to choose between good and bad clients. It helps you to allocate your resources more effectively.

5. Disseminate work flow for your staff

Make your staff work their strengths and become the conductor of your sales orchestra. What does this mean? Your sales staff need your guidance. It is your role to point them in the right direction.

Sales -pipeline -advice

6. Pipeline management

A pipeline review clears away the fog of optimism and focuses on the realities of revenue. Your role as the sales leader is to know each and every salesperson’s potential sales from a numbers perspective. It is also your job to manage the ‘probability’ of those sales. This helps manage sales staff and reduces the sink or swim mentality, by better management of staff.

Related: The 15 characteristics of people who succeed at sales

7. Set aggressive but achievable targets 

Sales teams need targets. It is a way of measuring performance. Targets role up into your financial and client strategy and help you, as the business owner, to achieve your business objectives.

8. Serve as a role model and a mentor for all members of the team

Every successful team has a strong captain. These captains serve as role models to their teams. How you conduct yourself professionally will rub off onto your sales team.

9. Coach the weak, stay out of the way of the strong

Why stay out the way of your strong sales staff? You have limited time, so focus your energy on where it is needed. Too often, talented sales people get stifled by sales leaders trying to turn them into robots. Find their talent, harness it and let them run 

Try This

If you are not a natural sales leader and your personality is not suited to that of driving a sales team, make sure you hire a sales director to manage the nine points above. As a business owner/entrepreneur you need to be critically aware of where you are weak. If you are weak at sales and leadership, hire an expert who can do this for you.

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About the author

Roy Clark

Roy Clark is a leading human capital creative thinker. MD of Clarkhouse Human Capital and with more than 12 years of financial services and human capital experience under his belt, Roy’s expert knowledge in the financial and banking human capital sectors has allowed him to not only rethink the role of human capital but to reinvent it too.

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