Up, down, all around. Sales leaders often find themselves smack dab in the middle– responsible for multiple layers of communication across the organization.
In today’s business world, the methods, speed, and sheer volume of communication can be overwhelming. Just think about a typical week at work. On average, you probably:
- Send and receive a minimum of 100 emails a day
- Send and receive nearly 100 text messages
- Send and receive dozens of voicemails
- Take multiple calls in your car
- Attend multiple sales calls, conference calls and webinars, as well as daily meetings (virtually or in person)
- Comment on various social and professional sites, such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter
Sales leaders need to be nimble and confident when communicating up, down, and laterally across the organization. This article from @amyfranko shares 3 communication strategies for sales leaders. #modernsellerClick to tweet
What was already complicated before the pandemic is now even more complex. With many sales teams working remotely or operating in a hybrid environment, your communication needs to be clear and intentional.
A lot is on the line. Workplace communication statistics show that 86% of employees and executives cite the lack of effective collaboration and communication as the main causes for workplace failures. Every communication, verbal or written, is an opportunity to connect, build relationships, and ultimately accelerate sales results. How do you sound?
As you look forward to 2022 and creating your sales plan, putting effective communication strategies in place now can help ensure your success as a sales leader, and the success of your sales team.
This article will share tips for sales leaders to be more nimble and confident when communicating up, down, and laterally across the organization.
Communicating with Executive Leaders: Headline Approach
Higher ups operate differently. Members of the C-suite often report that time management is their greatest challenge. Whether it’s an executive within your organization or at a client’s or prospect’s organization, to get their attention, it helps to get right to the point. Think quality, not quantity.
A useful strategy I learned is that when you need to communicate with executive leaders like the CSO, CFO, or CEO, a “headline” approach works best. Rather than starting at the beginning and winding your way to a big conclusion, cut to the chase and put the most important information up front. This holds true for both written and verbal communication.
Sharing metrics and results orientation as part of that headline can make a powerful statement, as well. This works so much better than getting into the weeds and risking that your message is buried.
And remember, as a sales leader, if you have an ask to make of the executive, that ask has to be very specific, clear, concise, and tied to business outcomes. You have to create a connection for executive leaders so they can make a fast and confident decision on your request.
Communicating with Peers: Partnership Approach
When communicating with peers, I like to think of it as a “partnership approach.”
Peers can include other sales leaders, mid-level decision makers or influencers within a client or prospective client, someone in industry research, or a strategic partner.
When communicating with peers it is often collaborative in nature, such as the pooling of resources or mutual goal achievement. (Upward and downward communication can be collaborative, as well.)
Whether you are asking for something or conducting a presentation to your peers, the ability to present it in a way that is collaborative and has mutual goals in mind will be most beneficial.
Communicating with Your Team: Coach Approach
According to Harvard Business Review, two of the top six traits for great leaders are communications skills. For sales leaders, a “coach approach” works best when you are communicating with your sales team.
The coach approach involves both strategic and tactical improvement. Your job as sales leader is to help your sales team members to think big picture and envision the next 12 months. At the same time they also need to consider the tactical improvements that they need to make on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis in order to achieve their sales goals.
Strategic speed is the ability to simultaneously look into the future, while keeping momentum in the present by working toward smaller goals and tasks along the way.
As the sales leader, your role is to eliminate roadblocks for the team.
It is also your responsibility to build mutual trust with your team. Are you delivering on what you say you’re going to deliver on? Are they delivering on what they say that they’re going to deliver on?
If mutual trust becomes an issue, this is where you may need to hold candid conversations with your team members if expectations are not being met. The sooner you do that with your team, the better you will position them to be successful.
For more strategies for your 2022 sales plan, please read this related blog on how to build your sales plan or watch my new sales talk on How to Help Your Sellers Plan Ahead the Next 12 months. It also includes tips on sales metrics and sales coaching.
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There’s no better time than now to focus on sales leadership development. We can help you become a high-impact sales leader through our training program, consulting and sales assessment services. Let’s talk. Contact us to schedule time for a discovery conversation with Amy.
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