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Improve Your Leadership SkillsThe last two years have been a challenging time for sales leaders as we’ve tried to navigate remote leadership, the Great Resignation, and a global pandemic. So, I hazard to guess that you might not have had professional development at the top of your radar. It’s your responsibility to ensure that you’re a better and more effective sales leader each year.  

When you interview sales rep candidates you probe for life-long learners and those who’ve had professional training or are seeking out professional or personal development opportunities for themselves, but are you drinking your own Kool-Aid? If you were interviewing for a new sales position this week, how would you answer the question about the podcasts you listen to, the people you follow on social media, and the last sales book you read or conference you attended?

I was just talking with three sales leaders today and they threw around some scary stats:

  • Gartner research found that buyers prefer a rep free experience, but have a 23% higher chance of buyer remorse and churning out if a rep isn’t involved in the sales experience
  • LinkedIn research- 65% of sellers say they are buyer focused- only 23% of buyers agree
  • LinkedIn stats- 90% of B2B decision-makers ignore irrelevant and un-personalized outreach

Then they brought up the big daddy, California’s new law, California's Consumer Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), that will go into effect on January, 2023. You need to be aware, because it creates new rights and obligations for companies not only in California but also for anyone doing business in the state. It creates a new regulator in the state to enforce compliance with the statute. The California Privacy Protection Agency will investigate potential violations and provide guidance to companies and organizations aiming to bring their privacy practices in line with the CPRA's requirements. 

And as goes California, so goes other states. The point is, how your teams are prospecting, selling, and engaging prospects and customers today will be dramatically changing in the next few years. If you’re not preparing today to update your team’s sales techniques and processes, then you are going to be caught flat-footed and short of your revenue targets.

So, what are your options to help improve your skills so that you can in turn a better leader and sales trainer?

Podcasts: There are some great and entertaining ones out there. Here are a few that I subscribe to

Sales Podcasts:

  • Surf and Sales Podcast
  • Sales Game Changers
  • Sales Leadership Podcast
  • The Sales Management Simplified Podcast
  • Scale Your Sales Podcast
  • The Sales Gravy Podcast
  • Inside Selling

Startup Podcasts:

  • From Founder to CEO
  • The Shake Up
  • My First Million
  • Startup Therapy

I’m an Audible Junkie so these are some favorite books to read or listen to:

Books:

  • Sales Management Simplified – Weinberg
  • No More Cold Calling – Black
  • Cracking the Sales Management Code – Jordan/Vazzana
  • Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions – Rosen
  • The Accidental Sales Manager – Lytle
  • Never Split the Difference – Voss

Let’s get back to in-person learning for ourselves!

Conferences:

  • Sales Leadership Summit (see below) March 8-10
  • Rainmaker2022 - March 21-23, 2022
  • Unleash – April 4-7
  • B2B Summit – May 2-4
  • Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference – May 16-18
  • SaaStr – Sept. 13-15
  • Outbound Sales Conf. – Sept. 18-23

No matter which professional development method you decide to use to improve your skills as a leader, do something this year to add value to your team, just as we expect them to add value with their prospects!