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The sales team leader, the glue that holds the sales team together, provides the training and motivation to the team to reach sales goals. The work environment is typically fast-paced, and the team leader is often moving from one task to another, answering questions, holding meetings, delegating responsibilities, and acting as a voice of encouragement. If you are a results-driven and sales-oriented people person, a job as a sales team leader might be perfect for you.
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Sales Team Leader Duties and Responsibilities
Sales team leaders’ duties and responsibilities vary depending on the industry and type of sales environment they are working in. Based on an analysis of current job listings, these are the core tasks usually assigned to the sales team leader:
Assist Managers in Sales Strategy Development
Although sales team leaders primary oversee the sales team, they often assist the sales manager with sales strategy development and implementation. This includes developing strategic sales plans that expand the customer base and ensure the company maintains a strong presence in the industry.
Keep Informed of New Products and Services
To hit sales targets and achieve growth, sales team leaders must continue to develop knowledge of the products and services being offered. They also need a working knowledge of their industry's climate and competition to effectively implement the sales strategy.
Recruit, Train, and Coach the Sales Team
Sales team leaders often help define sales job requirements, assisting in the search for the best candidates and taking part in the interview process. A large part of the job is providing sales team members with tips and training to achieve a competitive edge in their industry. Sales team leaders orient the new sales staff and focus on improving the job performance and sales of existing staff.
Delegate Tasks and Set Deadlines
Sales team leaders delegate tasks to sales staff. They know how to assign tasks to the team members with the best skills for the job and guide staff members to ensure the work is done well.
Set Sales Targets and Motivate Sales Team
Sales team leaders often set daily, weekly, or monthly sales goals. They motivate employees to reach individual sales goals and encourage the staff to work better, rather than harder. They understand the importance of praising and rewarding team members who do a stellar job and implement bonus and prize programs or "employee of the month" achievements.
Prepare Sales Reports
Sales team leaders are often responsible for preparing and delivering sales reports to management. They also report on team member performance and mission-related objectives.
Sales Team Leader Skills and Qualifications
The contact point for the sales team, sales team leaders exhibit excellent leadership and communication skills. Experience with the specific products or the industry associated with the role is helpful, but not required. A proven track record of sales management or team leader success is usually necessary to be considered for this job, as well as the following skills:
- Sales Industry Experience - the sales team leader manages the people who generate sales. To be successful as a team leader or supervisor in sales, experience and a working knowledge of the sales industry is important
- Leadership and Motivation Skills - the sales team leader motivates employees to reach sales goals and needs to be able to effectively train, encourage, inspire and reward team members for their achievements
- Customer Service - sales roles are often customer focused, and the team leader needs to be able to guide team members in providing excellent service to customers
- Organization - to effectively delegate tasks to team members and keep track of sales goals, the team leader needs to be well organized
- Communication sills - sales team leaders are often the link that holds the sales team together, the source of information, training, and motivation for the sales staff—they need to be able to communicate all aspects of the sales operation to managers and team members
- Computer skills - record keeping software is used for creating and storing sales records and reports
Sales Team Leader Tools of the Trade
Sales team leaders use the following programs to do their job:
Microsoft Office – for record keeping and reporting (these include Outlook, Excel, and other programs in the MS Office suite
Sales Team Leader Education and Training
While there aren’t any minimum education requirements to become a sales team leader, employers often favor candidates with a bachelor’s degree or those who have taken some business and management courses. At least some experience in sales and customer service is generally required; experience in the company’s specific industry is highly desirable, along with supervisory or team-based sales experience.
Sales Team Leader Salary and Outlook
The average annual salary for sales team leaders is $66,111 according to data collected by Glassdoor. These salaries range from a low of $41,000 to a high of $108,000. Reported yearly bonuses, commissions, and additional compensation range from $3,340 to $81,383 with an average of $20,371 paid in additional compensation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for sales management positions will grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026. Growth rates will depend the on specific industries of the employer.
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Sales Team Leader Resources
We’ve scoured the Internet to come up with a list of resources to help you learn more about becoming a sales team leader. Here are some places to get more information to help you figure out if this career is right for you:
How to Get a Sales Job
this blog post on the leading career site Glassdoor is a quick read and offers great tips for landing a job in sales
The Porter Group Sales Career Resource Page
the Porter Group is a sales management recruiting firm that knows what it takes to break into the world of sales. Its resources section offers everything from résumé and interview tips, to how to overcome fear and creative ways to stand out
Seven Keys to Sales Leadership
is a great article published on Forbes on the ins and outs of sales leadership
The Accidental Sales Manager: How to Take Control and Lead Your Sales Team to Record Profits
offers keys skills to help people in sales management better develop the sales skills of their team
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