6 Failure Indicators for Sales Leaders

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As a sales leader for 30+ years, I know the trap that many sales leaders fall into….because we are or have been good in a role as a sales leader, we also tend to believe that when there exists a problem or problems in our sales momentum, we can fix these.

Seems logical, but in fact is often very counterproductive to go down this path of Do-It-Yourself momentum fixer.  Being an effective leader is a full-time job, and often the time to stop and fix the little things just doesn’t exist or doesn’t appear to be a good use of time. 

Think of it as the saying “It’s harder to read the ingredient label when you are inside the box.”

In other words – You are too close to address what is going on.  If you have an issue recur for more than two consecutive months, it is a bigger issue waiting to explode.

Here are 6 Early Indicators for Sales Leaders that FAILURE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER:

  1. Your results are reliant on your team, rather than your own efforts, and your team gets little to no onboarding.
  2. There is not a formal structure of skill development training for your team to improve beyond whatever skills they brought with them on day one.
  3. If you have 1:1 session meetings with your sales team, it feels like you are punishing them.
  4. If you have 1:1 session meetings with your sales team, the outcomes don’t change from month to month.
  5. You lack confidence in your team to get the results that are expected of you to deliver.
  6. You as a leader, get little to no developmental training.


Since the responsibility is yours alone, answer these questions:

A.  What have you done in the most recent month to develop yourself as a leader, as a manager, as a communicator, and as a problem solver?

B. What have you done in the most recent month to develop your team, so that you do have the confidence they can deliver the results that are the expectations you are measured by?

If your answer is either “NOTHING” or “some answer that still leads to any of 1 through 6 above”, then answer this:

C.  Why?

If you’ve heard me speak at most sales and leadership events, you’ve most likely heard my quote:

“Insanity is not doing the same thing and expecting different results, Insanity is knowing there is a different way, and choosing to keep doing the same thing anyway.”

The answer to “C” could be that as a leader, you just don’t know where to begin.  Fair enough.

My short list of recommendations would be to start with simple things like PODCASTS, BOOKS or AUDIOBOOKS on Sales Improvement, and maybe, get yourself some of your own 1:1 time to answer some of those tougher questions, and change your own professional outcomes.

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