My favorite quote as a leader was coined by Erica Jung. She said, “Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.” I believe if you create a place where salespeople can find their way through the dark they will win every challenge they come up against.
Building top producing sales teams over my sales career taught me to lean heavily on two very specific thoughts. The first was to spend every day focusing on eliminating any and all roadblocks for my team, and the second was creating a supportive and motivating team culture. Salespeople are naturally competitive, self-motivated, and eager to improve. They are inherently passionate about succeeding.
By creating the right environment for a salesperson it didn’t matter when the org had to implant a new person onto a team I managed, or move a successful member off to help deepen the division’s talent pool. We always had our best people move on for promotions, and we always were a place for those who wanted to have more development. The change was always constant. Because we had such a healthy culture we felt zero disruption and we always held the top spot. People loved our teams.
As a leader, I am always comforted by the belief that every salesperson is great. Furthermore, the most important job a leader can assume is to be the voice that guides talent through the dark.
I am a huge proponent of situational leadership, zero cap commissions, living a huge life and salespeople who break comp plans! Typically comp plans break when a salesperson is able to embrace who they are, expand where they aren’t and deliver gratifying experiences to those around them.