Written By: Rich Mesch
May 11, 2021 – 4 min read
I recently had the pleasure of hosting a podcast with consultant and former pharmaceutical industry executive Keith Willis. We talked about the challenges of virtual leadership, and as part of that conversation, we hit on a pretty important point: long before the pandemic, there were plenty of leaders who were already leading virtually. Many sales leaders, due to large geographies, are not in the same city as any of their team members. And while field visits are common, the majority of leadership has been done from a distance for years.
Sales leaders are often the primary drivers of sales team success. Talk to successful salespeople, and they will typically have compelling stories about the leaders that helped them get there. And sales leaders are critical to learning and growth. According to a Forbes Magazine article, coaching increased the use of knowledge gained in training by a whopping 87%. But, of course, sales tend to measure success in numbers — and according to survey data, sales teams with effective coaching recognize 28% higher win rates.
Not all of us signed up to be virtual leaders, though; circumstances forced virtual leadership upon us. But even as the pandemic (hopefully) begins to wind down, it’s becoming apparent that virtual leadership is going to become more and more common. So this is a good time to look at some of what virtual sales leaders have been doing for years.
Leading virtually is not a new challenge, but a lot of leaders are new to leading virtually. The good news is that you can be very effective as a virtual leader, and we’ve never before had more tools to help us succeed.