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How to Manage Co-Leadership in Your Sales Force

Time to Divide and Conquer

You’ve heard it multiple times that two heads are better than one. The question is: are two leaders better than one?

 

The answer is: Yes! 

But - there’s a catch.

In order to be successful, the relationship between co-leaders must be effectively managed. Here are 5 tips to guide your sales team’s dynamic leadership duo:

 

Shaking Hands

 

    

1. Choose the Right People for the Job

 

Co-leaders should complement and challenge each other, not clash and compete. Certain personalities mesh better than others and it’s crucial to figure this out from the start. Test the waters by observing how individuals interact, then decide if they’re a good fit. An added bonus: leaders that have good chemistry

create synergies within their team which helps you achieve more than you would’ve thought possible. Above all, make sure that every individual chosen to lead has this key characteristic: the ability to inspire and motivate others.

 

2.  Have a Clear Chain of Command

Your sales team is busy managing their leads and deal pipeline - the last thing the employees need is confusion on who everyone reports to. Make sure employees are clear on the management structure within the company so they aren’t wasting time wondering who they should be speaking with. A clear chain of command also avoids the possibility of leaders stepping on each other’s toes, causing unnecessary strife within the company. Consider arranging a team meeting to communicate this information or post the right reporting lines on the department bulletin board.

 
3.  Create (and Communicate) Boundaries

 

Every employee has boundaries. Acknowledging and abiding by them helps to create a healthy and comfortable workplace for everyone - without them, the company can easily become a place they don’t want to be. To ensure smooth sailing, make sure that your leadership team knows and respects each other’s specific limits, as well as those of the individual contributors..

 
4.  Check-in Regularly

 

Regular communication is a key ingredient in successful leadership. Consider a daily or weekly cadence to debrief with your teams and ensure everyone is on the same page, especially on the onset of the new two-person leadership model. Simply recapping and talking about the week ahead can prevent miscommunications that could derail your team’s progress.

 

Shaking Hands 2

 

5.  Share the Goals, Divide the Responsibilities 

 

It’s not necessary that leaders share everything. In fact, dividing the responsibilities between leaders creates separate ownership for each person, instilling a sense of pride for their work. This accountability can bring them even closer to the company’s mission. Analyze each person’s strengths and capitalize on them to make the most effective leadership team possible.

 

Whether your organization finds it's best to have a co-leadership model due to geographic constrains, strengths of certain leaders, or too large of a workload for one individual, it can be done (and successful!). 

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