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January 14, 2024

Are You the Chief Rescue or Chief Revenue Officer?

Colleen Stanley and Steven Rosen discuss the role of a sales leader as not just bringing in the numbers but developing their salespeople into self-managing individuals. Sales leaders can drive revenue and achieve long-term success by avoiding the trap of rescuing and focusing on coaching and accountability. 

“The goal of the sales leader is to create self-managing people.” – Steven Rosen

“Unbelievably talented sales leaders still fall into that trap of rescuing their salespeople versus developing their salespeople.” – Colleen Stanley

Key Takeaways:

  • Sales leaders often fall into the trap of rescuing their salespeople instead of developing them.
  • The desire to be problem solvers and the lack of coaching skills contribute to this behavior.
  • Self-awareness and assertiveness are key skills for holding salespeople accountable.
  • Pre-call planning and post-call debriefing are essential for coaching and development.
  • Journaling and self-reflection can help salespeople improve their own selling skills.

The interactive podbook below contains videos, audio, articles, summaries, transcripts, and YouTube shorts from this podcast episode.

Full Episode Article:

Byline: By sales leadership and coaching experts Colleen Stanley and Steven Rosen

Introduction

Welcome to the Sales Leadership Awakening Podcast, where we tackle the age-old issue of bridging the knowing and doing gap in the sales leadership realm. This episode explores whether sales leaders are acting as the Chief Revenue Officer or the Chief Rescue Officer. This episode dives into why even the most competent sales leaders fall into the trap of rescuing their salespeople instead of developing them.

The Trap of Rescuing Salespeople

As former sales leaders, Steven Rosen and Colleen Stanley have observed many talented sales leaders who have fallen into the trap of rescuing their salespeople instead of focusing on their development. This happens for several reasons, even though these leaders know they shouldn’t be doing it. One reason is the desire to be the chief problem solver. Sales leaders often have a natural tendency to jump in and fix problems instead of allowing their salespeople to learn and grow from the experience. Another reason is the discomfort of having difficult conversations. Holding salespeople accountable can be uncomfortable; many managers would rather avoid these conversations altogether. Additionally, many sales managers lack proper training in coaching and understanding of their role as developers of people.

The Importance of Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is a crucial skill for sales leaders to develop in order to avoid falling into the trap of rescuing their salespeople. It is essential for sales leaders to recognize their own tendencies and motivations. For some, a psychological payoff exists in being the hero or heroine who swoops in to save the day. Others may have too much empathy and struggle to hold their salespeople accountable. By becoming aware of these tendencies, sales leaders can change their behavior and focus on developing their salespeople instead of rescuing them.

The Role of Coaching

Coaching is a key skill that sales managers must develop to hold their teams accountable and shift from the Chief Rescue Officer to the Chief Revenue Officer. The shift from telling people what to do to asking effective questions and getting them to think is essential. Sales managers should spend time coaching their salespeople and helping them improve rather than simply telling them what to do. This requires preparation, self-awareness, and asking the right questions. By taking the time to coach their salespeople and create self-managing individuals, sales leaders can ultimately drive revenue and achieve long-term success.

The Power of Pre-Briefing and Debriefing

Pre-briefing and debriefing are two important practices that sales managers can implement to help their salespeople improve. Pre-briefing involves reviewing and discussing the salesperson’s slide deck or pre-call plan before a sales call. This allows the sales manager to ensure that the salesperson is prepared and focused on their goals for the call. During the call, the sales manager should observe and take notes but refrain from jumping in and rescuing the salesperson. Instead, they can provide feedback and coaching during the post-call debrief. This approach allows the salesperson to learn and grow from their experiences rather than relying on the sales manager to rescue them in the moment.

Developing Assertiveness and Emotional Intelligence

Assertiveness is a crucial skill for sales leaders to develop in order to hold their salespeople accountable and shift from rescuing to developing. By stating what they need clearly and assertively, sales leaders can set expectations and ensure that their salespeople understand what is required. Emotional intelligence is also important, allowing sales leaders to manage their emotions and respond effectively to their salespeople. By being self-aware and recognizing their own triggers, sales leaders can avoid falling into the trap of rescuing and instead focus on coaching and developing their salespeople.

Taking Action: Self-Reflection and Journaling

To become more effective at developing their salespeople, sales leaders should take the time for self-reflection and journaling. This involves carving out quiet time to sit and think about their own tendencies, motivations, and triggers. By examining their beliefs and biases, sales leaders can better understand why they may be falling into the trap of rescuing. Journaling can also be a helpful tool for salespeople to reflect on their performance and identify improvement areas. By self-reflecting and journaling, sales leaders and salespeople can become more self-aware and take action to shift from rescuing to developing.

Conclusion

The role of a sales leader is not just to bring in the numbers but to develop their salespeople into self-managing individuals. Sales leaders can drive revenue and achieve long-term success by avoiding the trap of rescuing and focusing on coaching and accountability. Developing self-awareness, assertiveness, and emotional intelligence are key skills for sales leaders to cultivate. By taking the time for self-reflection and journaling, sales leaders can better understand their own tendencies and motivations. With these skills and practices in place, sales leaders can shift from the Chief Rescue Officer to the Chief Revenue Officer and create a culture of growth and development within their sales teams.

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