As sales consultants, we often say that great sales leaders demonstrate three things consistently: 1) They are great sellers, 2) They are great coaches, and 3) They are great operators.
Sadly, top sellers promoted to sales managers do not magically demonstrate all three. This is why we see and talk regularly about the “Peter Principle” in sales, where sales leaders "rise to their level of incompetence".
Of these three traits, which do you think is most lacking? Most would probably debate between traits #2 and #3. Let’s look at it from the manager’s point of view:
- Great Seller: “I am a great seller, that’s why I got promoted - duh.”
- Great Coach: “I have good relationships with my team; I can teach them how to be successful.” (Red flag – what made you successful does not necessarily make everyone successful.)
- Great Operator: “What do you mean by ‘operator’?” (Red flag - Not many are thinking about how to run a winning sales team.)
In this blog, we focus on trait #3, on successfully operating a sales team. (Which by default improves your sales coaching impact).