Being a Sales Leader isn’t easy

Written by: Nisha Vyas-Joseph

If you (as a CEO and/or sales leader) feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water and new challenges are testing your patience and confidence on a daily basis, you really aren’t alone!

One of my favourite things about this job is building strong relationships with CEOs and Sales Leaders.

And at some point, most of them have discussed regrettable moments with me like:

  • Not handling a difficult conversation well
  • Being too harsh or too relaxed with the team
  • Unintentionally ignoring a team member who clearly needs support
  • Cancelling another team meeting because something more “urgent” has come up
  • Embedding another new sales incentive which doesn’t drive the sales team


Being a sales leader is no easy feat. However, the best leaders use these challenging moments to reflect, learn and evolve.

What are the other key traits of a successful leader in today's sales environment?

From my experience, the best leaders:

ONE: Listen to feedback from the team before making any decisions.

TWO: Make the time to really get to know sales members individually.

  • What drives them?
  • What made them work in sales?
  • What will they do with their bonuses and commission?


THREE: Understand personality types and adapt their communication style to get the best possible outcomes from their team. We really recommend reading Thomas Erikson’s book: Surrounded by Idiots.

FOUR: Allow their team to make mistakes and openly discuss what they can do differently next time. If you don’t encourage this level of vulnerability, you will run the risk of leading a team that doesn’t value personal growth.

FIVE: Live by the standards and values set by the company or themselves. How many companies have you seen spend thousands of pounds developing their company values, yet nobody in the company lives by them…

SIX: Don’t react off the cuff, emotionally or irrationally.

SEVEN: Ask the right questions and seek to understand before making a decision.
It feels like you’re unhappy with [this] situation. Be honest with me, tell me what you’re thinking.
How can I support you more so you can thrive and be happy in your role?

EIGHT: Prepare difficult conversations. In fact, the best leaders script the conversation out and practise it in front of a mirror because they really want the conversation to drive the best outcomes for everyone.

NINE: Apologise when they feel they’ve made a mistake.

TEN: Are open to being challenged.

So, the next time you face a challenging situation as a sales leader, remember not to be too hard on yourself. Being a sales leader is a never-ending journey with highs, lows and everything in between.