Think about your team’s top sales leaders. They didn’t get there simply by having a successful track record or a solid work ethic—they rose through the ranks because they possess the right blend of sales and leadership prowess.

If you’re looking to upgrade your personal development plan, Lestraundra Alfred, a staff writer for the HubSpot Sales Blog, says to look for certain traits that top sales leaders exemplify. Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today for Alfred’s thoughts on what it takes to be a top sales leader.

1. They’re strategic. Gone are the days when success in sales equated to who could perform the most activity. In 2020 and beyond when competition is stiff across industries, sales leaders must be able to provide strategic direction to help their teams find success, says Alfred. Influential sales leaders must be able to develop and implement sales strategies that empower their organizations to work at their highest levels. For both sales reps and leaders, the goal should be the same: to help customers solve their problems.

2. They’re thoughtful. In 2020, Alfred says that sales leaders need to take a more thoughtful approach to how they instruct their employees to navigate the sales process. Top sales leaders are big-picture thinkers who are constantly looking for ways to help others, whether they are helping their own prospects overcome an obstacle or helping the reps who report to them drive sales in an ethical manner. These leaders thoroughly understand how their organization’s performance impacts the company as a whole. They can manage expectations at all levels while still focusing on results.

3. They’re analytical. Influential sales leaders must be able to interpret and draw conclusions from the data available to them. According to Alfred, if you want to manage an effective sales team, taking a data-driven approach is a must. Sales leaders should use the data collected from their sales team to inform their business decisions.

4. They’re empathetic. When developing as a leader, it can be tempting to focus on the hard skills necessary to succeed on the job. However, with sales being a people-centric field, it is important to focus on the importance of soft skills as well, notes Alfred. In a position of leadership, the ability to be empathetic can be a key driver of success. Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to the feelings of others, which is a must-have trait for effective sales leaders. While managing their teams, sales leaders should seek to understand the challenges their employees are experiencing when on the field, keeping these factors in mind as they develop and implement sales targets and strategies.

5. They’re servant leaders. The most effective leaders aim to serve, not dictate. Alfred says servant leaders actively listen to their employees when they express their needs or provide feedback. They also prioritize the development of their team and commit to keeping employees informed.

Leadership development is an ongoing process. Think about how you can develop the traits above in yourself and your team members.

Source: Lestraundra Alfred is a staff writer for the HubSpot Sales Blog.