An astronomical observation shows that the very brightest stars burn and die out the fastest. What’s true in the celestial arena is true down here on Earth, too. If you’re a sales leader, don’t make the mistake of trying to shine the brightest to attain success. Dim your presence in the sales process to empower your sales team, and you might be surprised at how well you can manage the team you’ve built.

Divide and Conquer

Since you’re the sales leader, your prowess is already established because of what you’ve done to earn that title. As the leader, it’s not your job to lead in sales; it’s your job to lead the sales team.

Getting out of your own way and pushing your team to make the sales will 1) allow you to take an omniscient view of the whole process to tweak things as needed, and 2) enable your team members to gain confidence and rapport with their clients so business can stay rolling with everyone involved.

If you’re the only person clients want to talk to, what is everybody else doing? Be the manager.  You could take on the bigger clients’ requests, but for everyday sales endeavors, let your team members do their jobs. You will make more money and have less stress if you push your ego aside and empower others to perform.

Empowering Others

What does empowering others do for your unit? It gives others a sense of power and affirmation.  This energetic dynamic can help the group reach new heights because people will want to rise to every occasion where they are expected to take the lead on their own.

Give a salesman an opportunity to prove himself, and you’ll get his best work because he knows he’s in the spotlight in that moment. Become your team members’ biggest fan, and they’ll not only perform for their clients and themselves, but they’ll perform for you, too.

Exhaustion Is a Self-Inflicted Wound

Fatigue will set in for any job that’s worthwhile. Perpetual exhaustion, however, is a different beast that you, as a leader, can control. If you feel constantly overwhelmed and stressed out because of the insane amount of work you have, then it’s probably no one’s fault but your own.

If you constantly feel the need to shine brighter than others, the people on your team will start to feel like your assistants instead of your partners. That’s something very dangerous to a sales team because once people start feeling used or unincorporated, resentment sets in that can be detrimental to a business that demands cohesion.

Step Out of the Spotlight and Into Action

Now is the best time to start this transition. Here are five ways you can begin the process and motivate your sales team to jump on board:

1. Know what they want. This is the easiest step because it’s cut-and-dried. Ask your team members what they want as their own goals. What roles do they want to play on the team? The answers are easily defined; they know what they are looking for, so flesh out tangible goals and begin the transition together.

2. Be their biggest fan. No matter what your team members’ goals are, encourage them! Most people have lofty goals and the ambition to pursue them, but some are held back by a lack of support. As the sales leader, it is your responsibility to serve as the support system they need to realize their goals.

3. Create a plan. The first two steps are only prerequisites to the strategies you must put in place if you want to succeed. Create a timeline to visualize where you want to be in the next six months to a year, and stick to that plan. Having a strategy in place breeds enthusiasm and gives the entire team a vision of where it could be in the future.

4. Hold them accountable. If your team isn’t excelling, you must be the one to accelerate its efforts forward. It’s not about giving your team members a guilt trip for letting everyone down; it’s about proving to them that they’re better than the results show. It’s about leading people through the bad times and giving them a second wind to realize their ultimate goals.

5. Bring out their best. The accountability aspect is key when results are lagging, but after exposing your team members’ weaknesses, you must ignite their strengths. What are their natural talents that you can enhance? What is holding them back that you can help them overcome? Ask yourself what you can do to help them, and then make it happen.

You can’t move forward individually in sales unless your team moves forward together. Play the manager, and see how well you can direct your team from the sidelines. The chances of you burning out early decrease, and the productivity of your team will increase exponentially. It’s good for your team — and even better for your clients.