Leading from the Middle

leadership Dec 19, 2018

Leading sales teams from the middle is the power section where strategies are set and a winning culture established - but too often old principles are executed and decisions are blocked.

In the recent Masterclass of the Institute of Managers and Leaders Australia and New Zealand, I spoke about radical sales management improvements connected to the fundamental change of the B2Bsales arena. Traditional sales managers still hide themselves behind KPIs to please their bosses and fine tune existing sales processes without realising that the customer buying behaviour now dictates the reality.

Leading sales from the middle is a reality of few wins and many losses. Most sellers don‘t reach their targets set by old rules and thus change their employers all 15-18 months, often to see it similar at the new place. As a consequence, companies invest less in onboarding assuming to rehire quickly.

Only a fresh approach connects prospects with suitable solutions. Then sellers can guide their clients from solving pain points to a state of comfort. Lead this disruption - or be disrupted.

Looking forward to 2019 seeing companies adjusting their principles and empowering the sales managers to lead that change process towards serving well informed buyers.

After my own presentation, I had the honour to speak along Katrina North of EY and Associate Professor Antoine Hermens PhD. from the UTS Business School in a high energy panel session about “Leading in 2025 and beyond”.

Given the information overflood and choice of communications tools today, the panelists discussed a split towards real people engagement and tool engagement. The channel of communication will be chosen based on the expected achievement. Middle managers will facilitate this change within learning organisations with high EQ leaders.

Attracting and keeping high levels talents will be challenging when organisations don’t adopt towards higher purpose which drives the two youngest working generations. A consistent focus on digital skills and the future expertise of STEM professionals helps keeping talents. Companies need to combine a growth mindset with empathy for new generations engaging on a deeper, more meaningful level.

On the other side, a purpose driven choice for employees can span generations as I recognise daily at Noggin where the whole company is on a mission to help managing disruptions smarter for a better society.

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