Collaborating with Others
Companies need strategies for helping sales leaders excel over time. Solutions require improving sales leader selection, development, and performance management, while creating a company culture that encourages sales leadership success. 
Sales Leadership is managing, leading and living through complexity and overwhelm. For those passionate about both solving customer requirements and leading a team, is an amazing role. Although sales leadership has never been easy, as organisations are increasingly increasing complex to engage in commercial relationships.
The function of sales is critical, organisations scale their businesses based on the revenue and the expected cost of sales in the future. Failure is always a clear and present danger that sales leaders face on an ongoing basis, potentially being one of the most visible and measurable of leaders.
Increasingly, sales leaders are required to have knowledge and capability in analytical, strategic and emotional domains. The challenges are increasing and with them, an increasing sense of being overwhelm can prevail.
In my new discussion paper, we review the challenges and discuss a structure to understand and tackle them.
Collaboration is essential for Sales Leadership success. Working across functions with a common vision to serve customers and stakeholders, sometimes reminiscent of forming a coalition with a hung parliament, the politics of influence is paramount. Successful Sales Leaders actively manage:
- Managing upwards is a key skill for a sales leader, understanding the rules of engagement, expectations and communication requirements.
- Value Chain / Supply chain insight, with the complexity of many value chains, managed poorly, it becomes an area of considerable complexity and at times, considerable angst.
- Team Dynamics – sales operations, require teamwork, partnerships can be essential in productive working environments/
- For Sales Leaders, there is the issue of becoming disconnected and out of touch, spending time in the office.
- Blind spots developing over time, e.g. short term performance over time limiting the longer-term development of strategic plans to adapt to changing markets.
- Over time the development of knowledge and power can be an issue for Sales Leaders who then do not get challenged by their team.
- Favoritism over time, through spending a disproportionate amount of time with preferred direct reports over others, eroding trust.
We can see from the diagram, there can be varying levels of success in collaboration from Sales leaders, from the Cosy, largely ignoring most collaboration opportunities, through to the Comprehensive, working broadly in an active manner.
In my new discussion paper, we review the challenges and discuss a structure to understand and tackle them. Please feel welcome to read the paper through the following link: http://adamcallender.com/resources/resources/
Want to know more?
Please feel welcome to request my recent white paper that I wrote after meeting and interviewing many emerging and established leaders about their journey into leadership.
What I do
Though Coaching, Mentoring and Training, Adam works with emerging and established leaders, often in technical markets, passionate about balancing hard and soft skills to harness to talents of the individuals and team. Creating outstanding leadership through self-awareness, seizing and developing talents in others, collaborating and balancing the need for success with clients, partners and peers. Through mixed modes, he delivers impactful programs.
 What Sales Leaders Need to Excel Over Time, Andris A. Zoltners , PK Sinha and Sally E. Lorimer, Harvard Business Review, January, 2019