Best PracticesA recent Gallup survey cited that today we have an incredible gap in our top leaders’ ability to lead leaders. Today’s VP of Sales is being stretched across so many critical business issues:


  • Driving Revenue growth
  • Reducing Costs
  • Converting more opportunities into deals (faster, larger and more profitable)
  • Providing more accurate budgets, forecasts and insights.


This list only begins to scratch at the surface of all the priorities and responsibility you have leading your sales organization.  But, rarely do any of these lists mention the “other” sales performance management responsibility you have- leading your leaders!  Yes, that’s right, leading your leaders.  


You might ask yourself a few simple questions to test your knowledge about how well you know your direct reports and are leveraging a sales performance management process.  


Learning some personal knowledge is great, but have you proactively used it?

  • How did your leader feel when he received a hand-written note on his company anniversary from you thanking him/her for doing such a great job over the last 12 months?
  • I bet your leader really appreciated your phone call on their birthday?
  • Your leader really valued the phone call you made to let them know to re-schedule and extended that trip to 4 days vs. 3 days, because you realized how important that it would be for he/she to attend their daughters soccer championship.
  • Receiving that special book after your conversation about a particular topic of interest to your leader was such a great gesture of appreciation.


A recent study by the Ken Blanchard Companies on the Top Management Challenges facing executives in 2011 ranked “Creating an Engaged Workforce” as the second largest challenge. 


Being a leader starts with, and requires you, to intimately know and be engaged with your people.  Research tells us the #1 reason people leave organizations is due to lack of leader engagement.  Engagement starts with the personal connection you make with each of your leaders.   It’s the “little” things that make the “BIG” difference to us personally.  It’s the glue that bonds us together.  It’s the foundation upon which great leaders drive world class performance through their direct line leaders into the sales organization.  So if you’re not engaged and connected, your risk is high.  Don’t leave untapped potential on the table and let your key leaders get pouched. 


It starts with acquiring personal knowledge about your team, and then, having a process to fully leverage it.

  • Name of spouse or significant other
  • Birthday
  • Company Anniversary
  • Most important element the of job to that leader
  • Personal aspirations that drive leader
  • Personal passion outside of work
  • Professional aspirations
  • Children names and ages
  • School children attend
  • Most important activity for each child


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