Leadership training is an incredible way to give your staff the skills and tools they need to lead effective business change. A well-trained leader can motivate their colleagues and external stakeholders, helping to secure buy-in for long-term strategies through effective communication and conflict resolution.
But how can a leadership programme achieve such strong results, and is it suitable for your employees?
In this guide, we’ll look at how this training can positively impact staff productivity, improve your talent retention strategy, and drive long-term company profitability. We’ll also explore the techniques and methods by which leadership courses help to develop the top 4 leadership qualities.
The Impact of Leadership Training on Employees
Leadership programmes can significantly and positively impact your employees, particularly within the fast-paced and dynamic sales environment. From helping employees to thrive in their roles to producing a pipeline of future talent for senior-level positions, understanding the positive effect of leadership training can help organisations to know how to realise the untapped potential of their workforce.
The growth of leadership programmes is anticipated to result in an $18.59bn increase in the global value of this learning and development market by 2026. As a result, many training providers are beginning to offer their services to organisations. So how can business leaders be sure that they’ll be getting a return on their investment?
Wellbeing and Productivity
Sales leadership training can be a powerful way to enhance employee well-being and, in turn, drive efficiencies that benefit workforce productivity over the long term. As the Society for Human Resource Management has noted in their 2022 State of the Workplace Learning and Development Trends report, 76% of employees surveyed were more likely to stay with a company that offers continuous access to training, and 78% responded that they had raised interest in life-skills training to improve overall workforce morale.
Luckily, leadership courses offer organisations the opportunity to both upskill their employees and provide the opportunity to deliver practical soft skills knowledge through a holistic focus on areas such as leading business change, developing self-awareness, and effectively managing mixed teams.
A leadership programme can have a marked effect on your employees, encouraging them to perform at their best through a number of factors, including:
- Helping potential leaders to understand how to set expectations. By assisting trainees to better communicate their goals and align internal teams to pull together towards shared success, sales leadership programmes can assist your management talent in ensuring that the rest of the workforce doesn’t experience the stress and uncertainty of lacking a direction or common aim.
- Creating a positive work environment. Employees who come through a well-delivered leadership programme will more keenly understand the need to provide their colleagues with a supportive work environment through transparent and constructive feedback, guidance, and mentorship. Many leadership programmes will now include modules which emphasise encouraging work-life balance and stress management, helping your future leaders to reduce burnout in your workforce.
- Skill development and employee empowerment. An effective sales leadership training programme will focus not only on developing direct leadership skills, but will also provide a robust foundation in vital soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and complex decision-making. When your talented internal management hires possess these skills, they can better empower other members of the workforce to do high-quality work and grow professionally.
By prioritising the growth of your staff through a sales leadership programme, you can evidence your commitment to their long-term development. Not only will you be producing the next generation of leaders that can advance their careers and build loyalty with your organisation, but you’ll be improving the overall well-being of all employees by gaining access to the latest techniques and leadership methods.
If you’re looking for more information on training after reading this article, see our insights on how Pareto elevates female leaders to the top, which takes an in-depth look at how organisations can do more to amplify the skills of their women-led teams.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Sales leadership training can play a significant role in improving DEI within organisations. Employing talented staff with a diversity of background, ethnicity, and gender means that you’re in possession of an innovative workforce—with a report from Deloitte noting that Millennials are 47% more likely to work for an organisation with a focus on inclusivity.
This figure only rises for Gen Zs, where 89% of the demographic state that they feel a sense of belonging when their organisation empowers them to drive change.
So, how can a leadership programme prepare your employees for a modern, diverse workplace?
- A leadership programme helps to develop cultural competence. Whilst your future leaders are likely to come from diverse backgrounds, they may need to be coached to appreciate the value that diverse perspectives and experiences can bring to the business environment. Leadership programmes offer employees the ability to increase their awareness and understanding of different cultures, helping you foster an inclusive environment where individuals can feel valued and respected.
- Sales leadership training provides the opportunity to enhance your hiring process. From challenging unconscious biases to raising awareness around the way that neurodiverse individuals can best evidence their skills and competencies, a modern leadership programme will empower your staff to reflect and challenge their preconceptions, as well as provide strategies which can mitigate un-inclusive thinking in the assessment, interview, and performance evaluation process.
- Leadership programmes help align your DEI goals with your long-term organisational strategy. A relevant and modernised leadership programme will help your future leaders understand how to track DEI metrics and implement processes and procedures to ensure your business doesn’t lose sight of these metrics as you scale up your operations.
Leadership programmes are a powerful way to teach employees crucial soft skills in active listening and empathy.
However, these aren’t the only ways in which these programmes of study can improve internal DEI—with leadership courses often focusing on addressing urgent and anticipated business needs, your future leaders can explore metrics and take accountability for initiatives that are specifically relevant to your organisation, with an emphasis on tracking progress towards a sustainable and inclusive workplace culture.
Sales leadership courses are an excellent way to enhance company profitability. By equipping your talent with the skills they need to manage expectations, communicate requirements, and delegate tasks effectively, your workforce will improve its level of productivity and reduce its exposure to risk.
For instance, a whitepaper authored by the Center for Creative Leadership has noted that businesses which invest in developing the leadership talents of their existing workforce are better equipped to respond to changing market conditions, with 86% of organisations that provide a leadership programme able to rapidly respond to economic changes, in comparison to 52% of organisations that lack a focus on mature and robust leadership training.
There are several other ways in which leadership training can enhance your company’s profitability, including:
- Driving innovation. Leadership training can help organisations to foster a culture of openness, creativity, and innovative thought. Employees trained in the latest leadership techniques will be more likely to encourage and support your staff to offer their opinions and provide business cases for investment into new technologies and additional personnel.
- Building stronger relationships with customers. By improving your employees’ interpersonal and communication skills, sales leadership courses can help them to improve their relationships with key external stakeholders. A modern leadership programme will show future leaders how to prioritise customer satisfaction and understand the importance of the consultative process for delivering high-value and high-impact results for clients.
- Enhancing business development initiatives. Leadership courses will prepare your employees to manage long-term organisational change effectively, whether they’ll be expected to introduce emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence or machine learning to enhance productivity, implement new processes to ensure that staff can take accountability for their tasks, or conduct research in advance of entering new markets. This can help to minimise the disruption that can impact company profitability.
By investing in developing a competent and effective management team through bespoke leadership courses, your organisation can create an environment in which positivity and high performance are rewarded with increased profitability and long-term success.
How Training Helps to Develop the Top 4 Leadership Qualities
Whilst there are many important characteristics that are associated with effective and talented leadership, there are 4 leadership qualities that can be considered essential to career success. These are:
But how can a leadership programme help to develop these 4 leadership qualities, and why are they crucial within the modern business environment?
The difference between “management” and “leadership” is often considered to be vision. Whilst an effective manager can focus on the immediate duties of ensuring that their staff have the resources and training required to complete their tasks effectively and productively, an effective leader must go further: they need the ability to envision a potential future for their wider business. Moreover, they need to be able to articulate this compelling vision to those within the organisation that can make it a reality.
Sales leadership programmes play a crucial role in ensuring that your future leaders can deliver a cohesive and strategic vision:
- Planning. Any modern leadership programme will provide your employees with the techniques needed to develop a practical and compelling long-term vision for your organisation and understand the necessary sales strategies that align with their end goals.
- Goal setting. Leadership training will help sales talent to develop strategies which are guided by SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound—goals that ensure clarity and alignment.
- Motivating. Creating a vision for a business is only half of the battle. It’s vital that sales leaders are trained to share this vision with their colleagues to earn their trust and can ensure that they have all the personnel necessary to execute their plans.
Knowing how to communicate effectively with staff at all levels of seniority is a vital aspect of the top 4 leadership qualities. Your leaders need to be certain that they can practically and effectively convey their thoughts and ideas to employees at all levels of the organisation. A large part of their role will focus on setting and managing expectations, which is why a sales leadership programme can be such an impactful way to ensure that your staff are prepared for the responsibility of a senior-level role.
Leadership training can impart communication skills in several ways, typically by training the following proficiencies:
- Active listening. Leaders need to understand and empathise with their staff, and a sales leadership training course will help your employees actively address their team members' needs, challenges, and innovative ideas, helping to create an environment of open and effective communication within your business.
- Effective feedback. A leadership programme will teach your employees how to provide actionable, timely, and constructive feedback for their team members, helping to facilitate growth and improvement within the sales team.
- Presentation skills. Sales leadership training will focus at least part of their course contents on developing the presentation skills of your employees, ensuring that they can deliver impactful messages to internal and external stakeholders.
A good leader is an honest, trustworthy, and ethical leader. Impactful leaders will always act to uphold the values and principles that guide their employer’s business operations, and they will hold themselves and their team accountable for their successes and failures.
Sales leadership courses can give your future leaders the competencies they need to inspire trust from your other staff, creating a fair culture which fosters loyalty. This is achieved in many ways, including:
- Putting ethical sales practices first. An effective leadership programme will focus on imparting ethical selling strategies driven by long-term, value-imparting relationships with clients, emphasising the importance of consultative approaches over short-term gains.
- Leading by example. By demonstrating ethics in their own working practices, your future leaders can provide consistency for staff, cementing the place of integrity as a core company value within the sales process.
- Reinforcing a culture of integrity. Leadership training programmes can help your organisation to highlight to employees that you’re passionate about investing in staff that help to create and sustain ethical behaviour within your sales team, establishing clear expectations around business conduct and professionalism.
Emerging technologies and market conditions mean that even within the ever-changing and dynamic world of sales, business is becoming even more fast-paced. As a result, your future leaders must be adaptable and flexible, able to pivot to embrace change and stay ahead of the competition.
Impactful leadership courses will empower your employees to take advantage of the latest techniques and methodologies through building their skills in a variety of areas, including:
- Developing agile sales strategies. Sales leadership training will impart to leaders the best techniques for adapting their approach to the sales process, helping your team to pivot to address changing customer needs and emphasise continuous collaboration.
- Building resilience. A valuable leadership programme will be delivered in a consultative manner, with learning focused on the current business issues your employees face. As a result, sales leadership training can help your staff to handle setbacks and challenges in your current sales process, enabling them to effectively lead their team.
- Acquiring a passion for life-long learning. A great leader is one that always takes advantage of an opportunity to learn something new, and sales leadership courses can impart this aspect of the top 4 leadership qualities by highlighting the importance of persisting with the latest industry trends to remain competitive and profitable.
By ensuring that any training delivered is focused on imparting these top 4 leadership qualities, organisations can be confident in their ability to remain competitive, inspire staff at all levels of seniority, and continually innovate in their products, services and processes.
Leadership training plays a crucial role in developing the essential qualities and characteristics that are required by these positions. By equipping employees with the skills and tools to lead effective business change, leadership programmes enable your senior staff to motivate colleagues and work effectively with external stakeholders, leading to buy-in for your long-term business strategies through effective communication and conflict resolution.
Furthermore, leadership training positively impacts staff productivity, talent retention, diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, as well as overall company profitability. These programmes develop the top 4 leadership qualities of vision, communication, integrity, and adaptability, which are all vital in today’s dynamic business environment. By investing in leadership development, organisations can foster a culture of success, empower their workforce, and achieve long-term growth and profitability.
Experts in Sales Leadership Training
At Pareto, we’ve delivered sales leadership training to professionals across all industries for over 25 years, helping organisations to promote their internal talent and reward loyalty. Our consultants are focused on evolving best practices in learning and development, and we’re proud to be market leaders in business growth and transformation. So if you’re looking for a leadership programme tailored to your business’s specific needs, contact us.