how to develop good leadership skills in sales, marketing and customer services.

01/02/2019

Whether you’re a telesales executive, account manager or marketing executive you play an integral part in driving forward your businesses success.

Your work directly leads to more revenue and happy customers who keep coming back for more products or services. As you improve over time you’ll be able to have a greater impact on, the company’s turnover, which leads to a happier boss that is then more likely to help you reach that all-important promotion.

Why leadership skills are important?

Having strong leadership skills are vital in any role and sales, marketing or customer service are no different. According to a 2017 survey by CV Library, over 40% of respondents think bad leadership can leave employees feeling demotivated and over three quarters (76.2%) stated that they enjoy following a leader.

That being said, solid leadership skills aren’t just developed overnight.Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting your first role, developing those skills will not only improve your potential but will increase your current performance too.

Whether you have your sights set on a specific role or are merely thinking of a promotion further down the line, leaderships skills will set you apart from other candidates. Cutting-edge sales and marketing skills will help put you ahead of the competition and improve your chances of landing your next role.

Ramp up your communication skills.

Communication is key when it comes to sales, marketing and customer service, regardless of whichever one of those areas you work in you probably already have pretty decent communication skills.

After all, if you struggled to talk to people, sales would be much harder to make while customers would walk away empty-handed or aggrieved.
To develop strong leadership skills, you need to take your communication to the next level. It’s no secret that the best leaders are the ones with the greatest communication skills.

They know how to articulate their values, visions and goals so that they are clear and solid. What they say also constantly supports those goals.

4 steps to improve your communication skills

Communication is a two-way street though and it isn’t enough to simply speak clearly you have to be heard and understood and you have to really listen to what others have to say. Below are 4 points to take into consideration:

  1. Have a clear goal in mind – plan what you are going to say and clarify the reason for communication. Think about what the listener’s response might be and how you will react to it.
  2. Make delivery clear - be clear about what you are saying and how it relates to your larger goals, make sure the listener understands your meaning and what action needs to be carried out.
  3. Listen to your colleague/team – make sure you really do listen to what they have to say in response, accept any feedback and use it to improve upon future performance.
  4. Review your communication - regularly review your performance. Was it effective, did it lead to the outcome you desired? Identify areas that could be improved upon and how you might make communication clearer and better in the future.

Take time to collaborate and understand how people tick.

Understanding what motivates people is another key area you need to develop to improve leadership skills. If you want to get the best out of your colleagues or team, then you need to understand what motivates them – what will get them to work towards your goals and put in the extra effort and what will make them dig their heels in and refuse to budge.

A good leader will work collaboratively with others rather than laying down the law. By working with others in different areas you will have a better understanding of their goals and needs and how you can work together to achieve them.

If you’re in marketing, meet regularly with those in sales, for example, and exchange information on lead generation, marketing and sales campaigns, business goals etc.

The best leadership comes about through an exchange of skills and ideas because you will be able to achieve far more as part of a group than as an individual unable or unwilling to work with others.

Push yourself out of your comfort zone.

It’s easy to sit in neutral sometimes – you know your job well and you perform it well but to be able to make the next move you do need to ramp it up a gear. Doing so might push you far out of your own comfort zone but it is critical to developing leadership skills.

If you have a fear of talking in front of groups of people, make yourself do it. Volunteer to speak at your next sales meeting, for example, or put forward a new marketing idea.

No one is perfect and although you might feel like people will be laughing at you, the chances are they will be admiring you for putting yourself out there. Such behaviour can inspire others to push themselves further as well, another mark of a good leader.

Being comfortable also tends to mean taking the safe option and doing what is expected of you whether you agree with it or not. By shifting your mindset you can start to define yourself better and gain greater control of your career direction.

Sometimes that might be possible through promotion within your current company, other times you will realise it is time to move on, but at least you will have control of the situation.