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The Sales Leadership Quadrant

· Jeremy Boudinet · 4 Minute Read

In this immaculate article, Steve Richard distills the goals and performance yardsticks of sales leadership down to two words: Consistency and Accountability. 

The ultimnate endgame of every sales leader is to create a system of consistency and accountability in their sales force. In other words, to set up a repeatable process that drives success, i.e. revenue, and establish conditions that hold reps accountable to their role in achieving that success. 

In this post, we're taking Steve's premise a step further by giving sales leaders a paradigm for assessing their leadership style in terms of driving consistency and accountability.

The Sales Leadership Quadrant

We're big on Quadrants here at Ambition - our Productivity Quadrant allows sales leaders to view their entire team on a single grid that locates reps based on productivity (x-axis) and goal attainment (y-axis). For self-assessment, we advise sales leaders to review David Allen's "Matrix of Self Management" quadrant below and discern where they fall in terms of creating consistency and accountability among your teams.

The Vision-Control Paradigm

What It Means

The vision-control paradigm is fairly straightforward. Vision and control are two keystones of team leadership that characterize both leadership styles and desired outcomes at their fundamental levels. In the sales leadership context, the best way to map your location on the quadrant is via consistency and accountability. How consistently does your team perform? How accountable are they in the aggregate to their metrics?

The top left quadrant provides a great example of what high vision, low control management style looks like, based on the consistency and accountability of team performance. The leadership traits indicate high levels of vision, inspiration and charisma, but low attention to process, details and data-driven decision-making. Under those circumstances, a sales team would be expected to perform erratically. They may also demonstrate high levels of activity with inordinately low returns.

The goal of every sales leader is to be in the Captain and Commander quadrant. To draw a sports parallel, those leaders would be the basketball or football coaches who possess both high football/basketball IQs (x's and o's, strategies, tactics) and emotional IQs (charisma and persuasiveness). In the sales world, the Captain and Commander looks like this: Process-oriented, data-driven and people-oriented. The telltale signs of a Captain and Commander sales leader: Team loyalty (to him, not necessarily the company) and performance.

How to Improve Your Position on the Sales Leadership Quadrant

Spend an afternoon thinking of your leadership style in the 4 key terms we've discussed: Vision, control, consistency and accountability. Where are you strongest and where are you weakest? To make your assessment as objective as possible, you'll need both data-driven and anecdotal evidence - and only those two things. The goal is to make your assessment as objective as possible and remove as much personal bias from the equation as possible.

If your data is inaccurate, inaccessible or hard to analyze, check out this Harvard Business Review article for some helpful tips to start improving on those fronts.  If you need serious help, contact us to learn how Ambition gives sales leaders like Mark Kosoglow immediate, sustained improvements in data quality, access and analysis - while driving rep performance. 

For a fast, easy way to start acquiring objective anecdotal evidence from your team, check out our March SaaSness partners at Qualtrics. We hope this helps you proactively improve your sales leadership style. 

Ambition: Drive Sales Performance and Accountability

Ambition is a sales management platform that syncs business teams, data sources, and performance metrics on one system.

Modern sales leaders use Ambition to enhance sales performance insights and run supercharged sales reports, scorecards, contests, and TVs via drag-and-drop interface.  

Ambition is endorsed by Harvard Business Review and AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization). Hear more from business leaders who use Ambition in their organization.

Watch Testimonials:

  1. FiveStars: Adam Wall. Sr. Manager of Sales Operations . 
  2. Filemaker: Brad Freitag. Vice-President of Worldwide Sales.
  3. Outreach: Mark Kosoglow. Vice-President of Sales.
  4. Cell Marque: Lauren Hopson. Director of Sales & Marketing.
  5. Access America Transport: Ted Alling. Chief Executive Officer.

Watch Product Walkthroughs:

  1. ChowNow. Led by Vice-President of Sales, Drew Woodcock.
  2. Outreach. Led by Sales Development Manager, Alex Lynn.
  3. AMX Logistics. Led by Executive Vice-President ,Jared Moore.

Read Case Studies:

  1. Clayton HomesHBR finds triple-digit growth in 3 sales efficiency metrics. 
  2. Coyote Logistics: Monthly revenue per broker grew $525 in 6 months.
  3. Peek: Monthly sales activity volume grew 142% in 6 months.
  4. Vorsight: Monthly sales conversations grew 300% in 6 months.

Contact us to learn how Ambition can impact your sales organization today.

About Ambition
Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.