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5 Sins of Sales Leadership Video

Our best intentions don’t always lead to our best leadership practices but they can blind us from what’s not working. Here are 5 sales leadership sins you want to avoid.

1. Doubting or not believing in your sales people

The first sin of sales leadership is not trusting your sales people. As a result, your sales people will know when someone believes in them or when they don’t. And as leaders, we’re missing an opportunity if we’re not believing in our people. However, when we do believe and trust in our people, we see them differently and we will treat them differently. So if one of your sins of sales leadership is not trusting or believing in your people, you will need to deal with that. Either by changing your mind or confronting something in the salesperson.

2. Being vague and ambiguous with our expectations

Secondly, people work best when they know exactly what’s expected. As a result, they can work really hard toward meeting those goals. Consequently, if we’re not giving them those specifics or we’re moving the goalposts on them, we’re not helping them. We’re working against them.

3. Having a sales culture that lacks accountability

One of the ways to easily identify an environment that lacks accountability is to listen to the language. In other words, how do you speak as an organization or as a sales team?

For example, there is a book, Winning With Accountability by Henry J. Evans, that speaks on this. It explains some of the biggest vocabulary offenders. So, if you’re hearing these words, they will give you a clue that maybe you’re lacking some accountability in your organization. As an example, here’s what’s called the Glossary of Failure: “We’ll do that. Soon. ASAP. I need that. Right away. I’ll get right on that. I’ll be done at the end of the day. I’ll do that later. I’m trying. I should be able to get to that. I’ll do my best. I might. By the next time we meet.”

However, that doesn’t mean just because you hear those words that people aren’t getting the job done or their intention isn’t to get the job done. But it lacks specifics in detail. And it’s ambiguous. When you allow for ambiguity, you can’t be accountable.

4. Not having or skipping sales team meetings

Having meetings consistently will build a culture that has clear expectations and has accountability.

5. Not making time for your sales people when they need to have a conversation.

It doesn’t mean you need to be available all the time. But when they need you, you need to schedule some time to allow them to share what they need.


You can turn the 5 sins of sales leadership into positives by believing in your sales people. Also, setting clear expectations and having an accountable culture. In addition, have regular sales meetings and make time for your sales people.

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Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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