Sales managers must be adaptive leaders

Sales management

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has written about an interesting concept – adaptive leadership.  They argue times are turbulent; organization structures are complex; trust in big business has eroded; competition is more diverse, and digital communications is pervasive. Because of these factors, successful leadership must take a different twist. 

So, what must adaptive leaders do? Here are the four areas where they must strengthen their capabilities – we’ve applied them to sales management. 

  1. Navigate the business environment – embrace uncertainty and adopt new approaches by, for example, cultivating a diversity of perspectives to generate multiple options
  2. Lead with empathy – create a shared sense of purpose and manage the sales team through influence rather than solely command and control.
  3. Learn through self-correction – encourage experimentation as a way for the sales team to learn and develop
  4. Create win-win solutions – focus on sustainable success for the sales team, the company and the clients.

To take a deeper dive into more specific actions adaptive leaders can take, click here

Check out other posts on sales effectiveness at the Sales Training Connection.  

 ©2011 Sales Horizons™, LLC

About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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