Welcome to Episode 37 of The Executive Edge. This week’s guest is Rebecca Gebhardt
Rebecca runs her own business and has recently completed a really valuable piece of research. As an expert in her own right, she was interested to study why people in Sales often don’t lead well once promoted. Rebecca set out to discover the principal reasons for this, and what she could recommend to business to improve this.
What did she find out?
During the research, she discovered that 80% of the 150 people she surveyed, described how they struggled with a leadership role. They did not get much training and regularly felt stressed. When she looked in to why, she often found that Sales people expect to be promoted by the age of 30. Many of them do not then receive any training until they are 42! This seems counter-intuitive as it isn’t giving them a chance to succeed.
Leadership is very different from regular day to day work. It requires knowledge of how to run a team, prioritise tasks, and motivate staff. And it isn’t easy! Helping sales people master these skills is important if they are to succeed. But, if many of them aren’t offered anything, isn’t this going to make it tough? The reality of this means they may be more likely to lose their cool with the team. The emerging Sales leader may struggle to engender trust perhaps, or fail to communicate well enough. If the team disengage as a result, it’s often thought the fault of the leader. Is that really fair?
These are useful skills Rebecca can help train people in. The skills include time management, mindset shifts and communication tools. She believes this reduces the risk of ‘churning and burning’ through sales people. That means getting them so stressed that they leave. This effect is commonplace she feels, but loses intellectual property!