When it comes to a career in sales and marketing, employers are looking for folks that can keep their team motivated and moving forward. Hiring sales people isn’t based on numbers alone, there’s actually a complex set of characteristics that companies look for. Leadership skills top the list.
10 Qualities that Make for a Great Leader
Keep the bar high: your actions reflect not only yourself, but also the organization and the others in it. Holding yourself to standards will help others do the same.
A good leader has a keen knowledge of their team. Knowing who can be trusted with what and when to assign tasks is key to keeping projects on track with a career in sales and marketing. Those working with you will appreciate your knowledge of their strengths and specialties.
Some of the best people in their field are examples of what we might call “poetry in motion” — excellent at their craft, but lacking in the ability to explain what they do to another person. An exemplary leader must articulate their ideas to their team succinctly and clearly.
Offering levity when things are tough or a major roadblock has been hit can make the difference between successfully pulling through a challenge or not. People like to know that their superiors are approachable and humane, susceptible to making mistakes and able to see the humor in life’s challenges.
Show your team that you’re willing to get your hands dirty alongside them. Knowing that you’re working just as hard as they are commands respect and instills a sense of fairness.
Keeping a playful vibe in fairly universal and can balance really nicely with productivity. Some snacks, fresh coffee, an impromptu after-work dinner — whatever’s appropriate that endears the group to one-another can be an effective tool.
Resist the occasional temptation to panic. There are days when things seem less than ideal or even bleak at almost any job. But as someone that’s supposed to help maintain a good level of morale, you cannot let those times get the best of you. Stay focused and forward-thinking and your team will follow suit.
You may need to veer off the designated path from time to time in order to make something work. Your team will be watching how you problem solve carefully, so be sure to show them that sometimes you’re forced to make a choice between lousy options.
Sometimes there are no directions, no rule book to consult – everything is uncertain. When there are no mentors to consult, no past experiences to draw from, you have to learn to trust yourself for better or worse.
Help your team visualize success and positive change. Acknowledging everyone’s hard work maintains a respectful rapport and keeps spirits running high in the face of challenges.
Not every career in sales and marketing requires excellent leadership skills, so if this doesn’t sound like you, don’t fret. Your calling may be for different types of sales jobs — more nose-to-the-grind, number-crunching or behind the scenes.