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6 Signs You Need to Invest in Leadership Skills Training

April 12, 2018
6 Signs You Need to Invest in Leadership Skills Training

Organizations tend to under-invest in leadership skills training. They often just continue to promote people, assuming they'll learn on the job.

But your leaders drive your strategy and keep your team focused. They're worth the investment!

Here are 6 signs you need to invest in leadership skills training – and some resources that can help.

1. Your executive team is over-burdened with too much leadership responsibility.

An overwhelmed executive team is the most obvious sign you need to invest in leadership skills training. If the only people who can lead are your top execs, they'll get overwhelmed.

When you're feeling overwhelmed, it can be hard to know where to focus. Rather than just investing in general leadership training, it's best to identify your biggest areas of weakness. You can then start by investing in leadership skills training that will address your biggest challenges.

Use our guide for Troubleshooting Your Sales Problems to identify the primary problems you are facing.

Troubleshoot Your Sales Problems
6 Common Causes of Poor Sales Performance
Download Now

2. Your managers don't know how to coach.

Coaching is a key management skill, and if your managers can't coach, they need training. A good leadership skills training should focus on coaching as a core competency.

You can measure your managers' coaching ability by observing how they interact with their teams, asking their teams for feedback, and sitting in on deal discussions. Managers should be able to identify problems and help their sales reps find solutions.

If managers are overbearing, domineering, or just assume their reps should copy them, you have a problem.

To get a start on training your managers to be better coaches, check out our Coaching Guide.

Coach Your Sales Team to Success
A Simple Model for Providing Feedback & Coaching
Download Now

3. Your employees haven't bought in to major initiatives.

When you are investing in major initiatives, employee buy-in is critical. And your managers should be a big part of that.

If you are seeing a lack of buy-in, or a lack of connection to the strategic goal of your major initiatives, you have a problem. Leadership skills training can be part of the solution.

Evaluate your change management process, and make sure you have processes to translate your strategic goals to individual changes. Get your managers involved in planning, and train them in bringing their teams along.

For an in-depth Change Management Process, check out our 10-step guide.

A Simple 10-Step Change Management Process for Sales Success
How Sales Training Programs, CRM Rollouts, and Sales PlayBook Implementations Fail – and How You Can Prevent It
Download Now

4. Your team's actions aren't aligned to your goals.

Similar to the previous point, it's important to evaluate whether people's day-to-day activities align with strategic goals. If your team's activity seems to depend more on the phone calls and emails they receive, you may have a problem.

Train your leaders to help their sales reps develop Prospecting Action Plans. This simple template helps sales reps align their daily activity to their overall goals.

Sales Prospecting
A Sales Manager's Strategy to Sales Prospecting: An Action Plan to Develop Your Team & Your Sales PlayBook
Download Now

5. Your sales forecasts are bad, and your team isn't hitting sales goals.

The ability to set and achieve good sales goals is a key leadership skill. If your managers can't provide an accurate forecast, or your sales team consistently misses sales goals, you have a problem.

Developing a comprehensive goal-setting and forecasting process can help your managers learn some key leadership skills. And over time, as they implement the process, they'll grow in their abilities.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Setting & Achieving Sales Goals for a comprehensive process you can use.

The Ultimate Guide to Setting & Achieving Sales Goals
Best Practices for Sales Managers and VPs
Download Now

6. Your managers can't motivate your team.

All of the things we discussed above require that your managers have the ability to motivate their teams. They need to get them to buy in solving problems, help set goals, and work to achieve them.

But if your sales managers don't understand how to motivate their team, everything else will be harder for them.

As part of your leadership skills training on motivation, check out our eBook on the 4 Dimensions of Sales Motivation. This framework can help your managers better understand their teams.

Motivating Your Sales Team
The 4 Dimensions of Sales Motivation
Download Now

I hope these ideas are helpful as you work to improve your managers' leadership skills! Please share your feedback and suggestions in the comments.

Remember, leadership skills training is a key investment in your success!

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