Leadership is not a one-size-fits all approach. Some leaders are quiet, more in the background workers and some are more aggressive. However, to succeed in sales and have growth in your company it takes leaders with particular skills.
“I believe that leadership is genetic, people are born with those skills, but they can hone them in, grow their skills over time,” said Jackson Umbarger, owner of Roy Umbarger & Sons in Bargersville, Indiana. Umbarger shared what he feels makes a sales team successful when it comes to leadership traits.
Communication is vital to sales. “Answer your phone when someone calls, and if you don’t answer, call them back,”
Although that might seem like pretty simple advice, it is sometimes overlooked, especially in an era of so many ways to communicate and with so many calls coming in. Keeping a call log in a notebook is an effective way to make sure you’ve got all your phone calls, text messages, Snap chats responded to, and orders processed without forgetting that one missed call that came in between your last customer stop and your kid’s basketball game. Because Umbarger’s sales team consists of two very unique individuals who communicate differently and are in separate phases of life – one is an early riser who doesn’t mind making calls at 6 a.m., and one would like to talk to customers after the kids’ bedtime – Umbarger at one time developed an app for customers to reach out to the sales team whenever they needed to, and in turn, the sales team could return the communication to the customers on their timelines.
Since leaders look different and have different skills, collaboration is a must. As Umbarger points out they might have sales reps divided by areas or species, but when the heavy hitter needs to be called in for a particular species or product, it is best to work with that person to make the sale.
“Leaders work together. They work for what is best for the team,” he said.
Their team also works together, especially when introducing a new product, to develop the talking points they will discuss, talk about what they don’t want to say and make sure the sales team is on the same page, so every customer and potential customer hears the same thing.
Product knowledge is imperative for any successful salesperson. That is why Umbarger makes sure his sales team is properly trained on any new products that they introduce to customers. Training the sales team is of upmost importance. That is when they develop talking points and share those with the rest of the company that might need to talk about the products, so everyone has accurate, consistent product information.
For BioZyme products, make sure you use the information available to you on the Online Dealer Center and online to familiarize yourself with the products.
Belief in Product
“We are not order takers. We sell products we believe in and don’t offer multiple products lines. We want to have a story to tell every time,” Umbarger said.
He said leaders need to have a conviction for the products they are representing. While his sales team might not have direct, personal experience with every product, they have relationships with customers who have had positive experiences and have shared those so the salespeople can share those experiences.
Finally, Umbarger said skilled leaders should not need to be micromanaged. “They know I have their back, and they have mine. The customers will let you know if you someone isn’t doing their job,” he said. Leadership. It doesn’t look the same for everyone, but it is a good combination of communication, collaboration, product knowledge and believing in the goods or services you are selling. Combine those traits, and your leadership skills will shine.