Learning to assess your leadership team may seem time-consuming and less important than evaluating associate-level staff. However, there is always room for improvement—even for those at the top of their game. Leadership and management training solutions have been developed to ensure that your best and brightest talent has the skills necessary to nurture the skills of the staff under them, lead successful business change, and drive a high-performance culture.
By enabling your leadership staff to access team leadership training courses, you can help them to realise their full potential, bridge skill gaps, and strengthen the foundations of your organisation. These are crucial steps for any business leader to take, and can help to ensure continued productivity and profitability.
This guide explores all the reasons to invest in sales leadership training for your senior staff. We’ll also discuss how to assess your leadership team to understand their professional development and coaching requirements, so you can get the most return on investment out of team leadership training courses and help to foster a growth mindset within your business.
If you’re interested in discovering further information about the positive impact of leadership and management training, see our guide to how Pareto elevates female leaders to the top for in-depth insights into how female sales leadership can drive profitability, and how we’ve been able to successfully to not only deliver leadership training in London, Manchester, and beyond but have also pivoted to offer remote learning opportunities.
Assessing Key Skills Leadership and Management Training Supports
Arming your senior staff with sales leadership training can help them to manage their time effectively, improve efficiency, and prevent misunderstandings which can lead to costs and damage to professional reputations. At the same time, you’ll likely want to evaluate your leadership team’s current skills before you can decide which leadership and management training programme is right for them.
So, what should you assess your leadership team on, and how can you tell whether they’d benefit from leadership training courses?
Evaluating your leadership team to know how they lend their skills and expertise to business growth and change requires you to assess the several competencies that lend themselves to sales performance, allowing you to discover inefficiencies and areas for improvement. As a result, you’ll be able to understand how to best invest in team leadership training courses to drive sales success.
Some key factors to consider when assessing skills that lend themselves to business growth are:
- Sales performance. With only 33% of a sales representative’s time spent actively selling a product or service, it’s important to assess your leadership staff to understand how they’re providing resources to your sales team to drive revenue growth, customer acquisition, and average deal size.
- Strategic thinking. Assessing a leader’s ability to develop and execute effective sales plans that align with your business’s overall goals is a great way to know whether they need additional training in market analysis, segmentation, and competitive positioning, or if inefficiencies have crept into the sales process.
- Adaptability and innovation. Your sales leadership team needs to adapt to changing market conditions. The agility with which your leaders pivot to meet new consumer demands can make the difference between improving sales performance and struggling to close the deal, so it’s essential to understand how they innovate when faced with challenges.
Creating strong leaders that can enhance productivity requires you to ensure that all roadblocks to their success are cleared. This is why evaluating their current skills can help you to choose a tailored sales leadership training course that addresses their specific needs.
Self-awareness is a crucial skill for your leaders to develop. If they aren’t able to develop skills in recognising and communicating areas for further improvement, they can struggle to advance to the executive level—meaning that if you’re interested in nurturing your leaders and encouraging their internal career mobility, leadership and management training that emphasises building self-awareness are a worthwhile investment.
You need to evaluate several skills to ensure you’re getting the right training for your staff. These could include:
- Continuous learning. Considering your leadership team’s commitment to continuous professional development can be a useful way to understand whether they need to develop skills in self-awareness. Looking for evidence of ongoing learning can help you to tell whether they need to accept and work on their inefficiencies.
- Emotional intelligence. Evaluating your sales leaders’ ability to recognise, understand, and manage their own emotions—and those of their team, too—can help you to know whether you should invest in training which prioritises skills in empathy and relationship-building, both crucial skills within the consultative sales environment.
- Reflection and insight. Does your leadership team reflect on the feedback you offer them? This can be a way to gain insights into their strengths and improve their weaknesses, but if they haven’t developed these abilities to reflect on feedback given, they will surely benefit from leadership and management training that enhances this aspect of self-awareness.
A characteristic of a good leader is their ability to understand their limitations and improve upon their weaknesses. By investing in sales leadership training, you can help to develop this vital ability in your senior staff.
Assessing your senior staff’s team leadership abilities will require you to focus on their behaviours and practices, enabling you to know whether they’d benefit from a focused team leadership training programme or a course on coaching teams for performance.
So, what are the key things that business leaders should be looking out for when they’re assessing senior staff for their team leadership and management skills? The following can act as a good guide:
- Leadership style. Evaluating your sales leaders’ overall leadership style can help you to see their effect on the overall performance of the teams under them. Consider whether they’re empowering their team effectively, and analyse their decision-making skills and problem-solving abilities to make certain you have a full picture of their team leadership effectiveness.
- Coaching and development. By recognising whether your team leaders can effectively identify and provide opportunities for guidance, coaching, and mentorship, you can better understand whether they’d benefit from a coaching course that equips them with the ability to provide regular feedback, performance reviews, and skill development initiatives that improve your sales team’s capabilities.
- Communication and influence. Quality leadership requires clear, confident, and consistent communication, whether through presentations, 1-2-1s, or providing actionable feedback. Assessing your leaders’ internal and external communication skills can highlight whether they require further training on the crucial soft skills that will allow them to effectively motivate their team.
By assessing the leadership skills of your senior staff, you’re better placed to know which leadership and management training programme will be most effective at quickly getting them to the level you require for business success.
Useful Questions to Assess Core Leadership Skills
To help you assess the areas that your leadership team might need to improve their skills in, we’ve provided some useful questions that can help you to ensure that whatever leadership and management training course you opt for, your employees are gaining the competencies you need to drive profitability, productivity, and engagement.
Assessing Communication Skills
Whilst there are several questions you could ask to assess whether your leadership team have the communication skills they need to be effective through their day-to-day management duties, there are a few we’ve recognised to provide the most useful answers:
Do they express themselves clearly?
Leaders are often short on time, so it’s important that they offer clear, actionable instructions to their employees, which let them know what needs doing, how it needs to be completed, and when the deadline is.
Do they offer constructive feedback?
Effective and empathetic feedback from management can not only help employees to develop professionally, but can also make a significant impact on staff turnover. 76% of new employees state that they want on-the-job training, and as such it’s essential to word appraisals in an empowering and pragmatic way.
Do they provide space for colleagues to voice their opinions?
Superiors should always dedicate themselves to fostering a workplace culture of inclusivity and solidarity. They should oppose the “us versus them” mentality—where only seniors take the stage—and allow employees to offer their insights, no matter their level of seniority.
Confidence is the foundation from which leadership grows, a vital quality for any management professional to develop. Understanding whether your leaders have the competencies to comfortably and authentically express themselves, demonstrate a high degree of self-awareness, and can handle situations with emotional intelligence requires you to ask a few questions, such as:
Do they put themselves on the frontlines of change?
Those in charge should illustrate that it’s okay to take risks and get things wrong, since they’ll inspire their employees to take the initiative more often—which often leads to business innovation and new revenue streams.
Do they have confidence in their decisions?
You can assess confidence by observing how managers make their decisions. If they lack confidence, they’ll be more likely to second-guess themselves and their expertise, or potentially exhibit defensiveness when questioned about their choices.
Do they involve others in decision-making?
Leaders are likely to make the most imprudent and reckless decisions in areas where they possess the least amount of knowledge or ability. Assessing how your managers involve their specialised employees in the decision-making process is an useful way to assess whether more leadership and management training is required.
Assessing Problem-Solving Skills
Your leaders should be intrinsically motivated to lean into challenges rather than shy away from them. However, taking responsibility for guiding your sales team to victory takes problem-solving ability and deep knowledge. Assessing problem-solving skills can identify opportunity gaps:
How do they respond to problems?
Leaders should see problems as possibilities for success rather than roadblocks. Assessing how your senior staff respond to company losses can help you to see whether they require additional support to approach issues as a learning curve rather than a setback.
Do they admit to their shortfalls or mistakes?
When leaders hold themselves accountable for mistakes, they empower their employees to act with honesty and remain positive in the face of obstacles, since they know their manager can accept constructive criticism.
Do they encourage employees to push themselves?
If an employee comes to the leader with a problem, do they brush them off, or do they take it as an opportunity for both of them to learn? Pushing staff to explore different solutions will help your leaders to motivate and engage your sales team in a number of ways.
Assessing Delegation Skills
Leaders should be able to effectively delegate tasks to uplift their team members and lead to impactful, business-critical results. Leadership and management training can help to develop these delegation skills, but understanding where your leadership team falls short will require answers to the following questions:
Do they delegate tasks, or keep them for themselves?
How leaders allocate duties can say a lot about their work ethic. Whilst they should not be afraid of taking responsibility, especially in times of crisis, sharing the load is often necessary to maximise resources.
Do they provide opportunities for their employees to express their leadership skills?
Leadership is often less about directly managing employees, and more about inspiring staff to do things they never thought possible. Senior staff should provide associates with the tools and abilities to challenge themselves and gain new skills.
Do they foster trust and accountability?
Assessing your sales leaders’ skills in building trust and accountability with their team can help you to know whether they require additional support in delegating tasks with clear deadlines, or building a working environment in which team members feel comfortable coming to them to express their concerns and take responsibility for their actions and results.
The Impact of Leadership and Management Training
So, now that we’ve explored the ways in which you can assess your leadership team for the key skills they need for business success, we can ask: what are the advantages of leadership and management training?
1. Enhances Your Employees’ Career Mobility
Leadership and management training can significantly enhance the internal career mobility of your senior sales staff. By developing core team leadership, operations, and management skills, your leaders can prepare for future opportunities with their business, become exposed to innovative concepts from industry leaders in sales management, and increase their confidence and credibility when it comes to negotiating for raises based on performance and impact.
2. Drives Business Strategy and Success
By taking part in sales and team leadership training courses, your managers can enhance the skills and competencies that enable them to effectively strategise plans that align with long-term business goals, solve problems, and drive profitability. Investing in sales leadership training for your management employees is vital, particularly if they’ve only just come to your business—particularly since 58% of senior staff state that they’ve never received any training for their roles.
3. Decreases Employee Turnover
Leadership and management training plays a significant role in decreasing employee turnover. When 75% of employees leave their jobs because of bad management, not investing in sales leadership training could be a risk you can’t afford to take. Improving the leadership skills of your senior staff ensures that their teams can receive enhanced feedback, recognition, and rewards for their work, as well as allowing them to take advantage of opportunities for career development.
Assessing and investing in team leadership training for your senior staff is crucial for maximising the ROI on training spend and fostering a growth mindset within your organisation.
By evaluating your leadership team’s skills in areas such as sales performance, strategic thinking, adaptability, self-awareness, communication, confidence, and delegation, you can identify their strengths and weaknesses and target their training on their immediate development needs.
Leadership and management training can enhance career mobility, drive innovative business strategy and lead to greater success, whilst decreasing employee turnover. It empowers your leaders to nurture the skills of their teams, implement successful business change, and create a high-performance sales culture which is committed to continued productivity and profitability.
Leadership Training in London, Manchester and Beyond
At Pareto, we’ve delivered effective leadership and management training for over 25 years. Whether you’re searching for in-person leadership training in London, Manchester, Nottingham, or Leeds, or you require a virtual training solution for remote employees, we can assist you. Our consultants are sales experts, helping to ensure that your leadership team have the skills they need to make an impact. To learn more or enquire about our sales leadership training courses, contact us today.