13 May Five Skills Moms and Sales Leaders Share
A mom kick-starts her day by checking the children’s schedule: school or holiday, karate or djembe? Soon after, she plans her own day: office, meetings, zoom calls (it is never this easy; throw in an immunization visit, parent teacher’s conference, costume pick-up for an annual day for an ideal scenario). She begins her day with a spot of exercise followed by cooking, packing lunches, and an office commute. Emails, work, and a few meetings later, she rushes for the PTA, returns home, plans evening meals, and logs back into work and for those couple of calls with the global teams. She cannot call it a day before meal prep for the next day, a bedtime story, and a task list for the following workday. The jig is not so different for a stay-at-home mom: juggling family responsibilities, elder care, household chores… the schedule is always choc-a-bloc.
Cut to a sales leader’s day at work.
Sales leaders are not only responsible for their own targets but that of their teams as well. It is a battle zone out there! The day begins with checking the team’s schedule: opportunities in the pipeline, who is pursuing which lead, who needs intervention, who doesn’t–and it has just begun. This is followed by their own schedule – meetings, calls, training, mentoring, and so on. Then, of course, they check and respond to the day’s emails and, in between meetings, scan the newsfeed to stay abreast of the industry news and trends.
Both roles require managerial skills. Both call for amazing multi-tasking and thinking on their feet. In fact, there is a lot in common between the two roles. Here are five which we believe stand out.
1. Emotional Intelligence: A mom’s role is anchored by emotional intelligence and resilience. From helping the child face a bully at school to firmly turning down requests for additional screen time, emotional intelligence equips moms to stay calm in the face of situations.
Sales leaders also make compassionate and empathetic decisions while helping their sales reps navigate dynamic situations on the field. It is crucial that they put themselves in another’s position to understand and solve problems.
2. Communication: Moms are subconsciously honing their communication skills as they coach, mentor, and counsel their children as part of growing up. From clear instructions to the pre-teen while she is learning to cycle independently to steps to help the teenager get the measurement of the cake batter right as you are on your way home– communication skills are steady work in progress for a mom.
The most significant leverage that sales leaders can give their teams is setting the right context and providing a roadmap through proper communication. Opinion, feedback, expectations, the art of getting the team consensus on a decision – good communication skills set apart a good leader from the rest. And communication is two-way, so a manager must be a good listener as well.
3. Prioritization: Prioritizing tasks is like the Wordle puzzle of the day! Based on the desired outcome, moms quickly analyze, deliberate, and weed out the unimportant activities, to focus on what really matters to achieve that day’s checklist.
It is hardly any different for sales leaders. They need to prioritize tasks for themselves. They also need to create clarity in tasks and priorities for their reps. High-level skills in prioritization and understanding activities critical to bringing in sales while being aligned to organization goals.
4. Leadership: Guiding children, equipping them with life skills, nurturing their abilities, place moms in the role of an advisor. How do you motivate a child who has lost her football game? How do you sow the seeds of empathy, integrity, and healthy competition in a child? Moms lead by example.
A good sales leader leads from the center. Understand the team, assign responsibilities, and steer the team in the right direction. Sales managers must also be capable of articulating the organization’s vision and getting everyone on board. And guide team members who are struggling by nudging them on the right path.
5. Decision-making: From healthy food choices to budget decisions to academic support, moms build decision-making skills by weighing the pros and cons, keeping the child’s best interest, and then making a choice. It is an essential KRA for them.
Works similarly for sales leaders. They make decisions daily after understanding the impact and repercussions of a decision and analyzing all parameters before making one. A good sales leader adopts a neutral stand, free of bias and considers all facts, data, and possibilities ahead of making a decision, and stands by it.
Both sales leaders and moms should leverage stronger support systems and master the art of delegating effectively. A reliable support system to help them juggle their roles and responsibilities with ease can help restore order amidst the chaos.
So if you are up for a sales leader’s role, observe moms around you – they will teach you invaluable lessons. And if you are a mom considering a career start or a switch, highlight these skills that you have built over time – these skills will look amazing on your resume.
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