With a Dose of Peer Group Discussion and a Leadership Coach to Pump you Up!
Sales leaders need to remember that they too, must regularly upgrade their leadership skills. There are two critical areas that will help you pump up your leadership quotient. The most effective ways are networking with a peer group of like-minded sales leaders who face similar challenges and utilizing a sales leadership coach.
As a former sales executive I always understood the importance of investing in my own development and the advantages of networking, and yet I always found myself too busy to do either. Between meetings, presentations, conferences and emails I rarely had time even to meet with customers. Luckily for me, the organizations I worked for always insisted on professional development because otherwise it would have continued to be a low priority. The reality is, networking with peers becomes more difficult the higher you rise in an organization. Most companies don’t have sales leadership programs for their most senior sales managers, therefore, development opportunities must be sourced from outside. Since leaving the industry, I have learned that having a well-established professional network of executives was critical to building my business and a great way to ensure career security. I strongly advise clients to plan at least one networking lunch a month. Realistically most senior sales leaders don’t engage in networking on a regular basis. It is crucial for sales leaders to raise their leadership quotient since the sales force is not only the company’s most important promotional resource but also usually has the greatest number of employees. Therefore, sales executives can benefit the most from improving their leadership skills.
The Old Way As a sales leader I would enroll in a 2-3 day leadership course offered by a well-known training organization. The reality was these courses were nothing more than a boondoggle. I would look for a nice location, and get away for a few days. As soon as I got back to my desk and found 400 emails and a packed week of meetings waiting, 90% of what was learned was quickly forgotten. That is the inherent problem with leadership courses offered by big-name training organizations. There is no sustainability built into the program. In today’s reality, it is increasing difficult to justify the costly $10,000 price tag of a weeklong Executive Leadership Training Course that has little ROI.
The New Way We have understood that networking and sales leadership training are the key elements to creating a pumped-up sales leader. Through one-on-one coaching, group discussions involving the sharing of challenges and learnings, I believe that sales executives will emerge as the winners in this very competitive and difficult economy. Now more than ever, they must harness the power of group learning forums supplemented with the sustaining power of leadership coaching. Is there a solution that enables Sales Leaders to both network and improves their leadership skills? Examining the needs of the Sales Executive, we developed a networking group called the Sales Executive Leadership Forum. This group is modeled after various successful networking organizations. Our main competitive edge is that we use Sales 2.0 technologies to network people together from the comfort of their work base. Understanding the time pressures that sales executives’ face we have designed a monthly tele-forum-networking group to discuss and learn new approaches to solving key sales challenges.
There are 3 reasons why you should consider joining the Sales Executive Leadership Forum:
1. Both the forum and the one-on-one coaching are all conducted by telephone. There is a relatively small time investment of 2.5 hours per month. No travel costs and time out of the office traveling to meetings. The overall cost of the program is less than $6000/year.
2. You gain access to world-class coaches who will help you develop and hold you accountable to building and executing your leadership plan.
3. The small group forums offer many advantages including; getting to know and build relationships with up to 10 other sales executives; a confidential forum to exchange ideas; peer to peer learning and sharing of best practices; and a dynamic learning environment that is personalized to meet your needs. To build your professional network, improve your leadership skills and increase your market value, invest in your Sales Leadership