Leaders should be reinforcers, not enforcers; an interview with C. Lee Smith

Joined on the show today by C. Lee Smith, the CEO of SalesFuel. Learn more here!

Notes and discussion guide from my conversation with C. Lee Smith:

1. Important to develop a sales person, yes. But also very important to develop a sales manager. Critical!

2. What is sales enablement? (What tools and support can you provide to ENABLE a person to sell effectively).

3. What are the key problems with sales management? Just because people are good at sales doesn’t necessarily translate to being good managers. Poor training of managers…

4. “Sales managers should be positive reinforcers, not enforcers.”

5. “Sales reps are quick to leave a poor manager.”

6. “Leadership isn’t about managing tasks, it’s about developing people.”

7. Why is culture so important to a sales team? “Culture is NOT what management says, it’s what the employees perceive it to be.” We discuss the four facets of culture…

8. Recruitment vs. retention.

9. Leaders have to model the behaviors they want to see in their teams.

10. Talent development never ends. Training and learning should be an ongoing process.

About C. Lee Smith:

Uniquely geared to service the fast-changing sales landscape, C. Lee Smith is one of the country’s foremost experts on sales teams, development, assessments and performance. His other areas of expertise include consumer behaviors, advertising, small business marketing and audience segmentation.

His creativity, thought leadership and ability to lead teams has steered 28 years of SalesFuel growth and Smith has never needed to look back. The hallmark of Smith’s leadership is steadily creating new tools for clients to maximize sales and revenue when the way buyers and sellers interact with each other is constantly changing.

2017 marked the launch of his latest creation, TeamKeeper®, a data-driven talent retention platform for sales management. TeamKeeper leverages data to provide personalized recommendations for discovering, developing and engaging employees. The new offering is a first of its kind, giving sales managers access to actionable data and tools to develop a customized management approach for each employee. It empowers sales managers to discover characteristics about candidates and employees, aids with coaching, and improves employee engagement – increasing revenue and improving top talent retention.

Lee is also the creator of AdMall® – the nation’s leading provider of consultative sales intelligence for local advertising and digital media sales – used by more than 2,000 media properties across America. Additionally, Smith is the driving force behind online audience optimization via his annual AudienceSCAN® survey, SalesFuel’s exclusive study of American shoppers, audiences and decision makers.

He is the founder and publisher of Media Sales Today, an ezine and thought leadership website. His newest blog creation, SalesFuel Today, includes daily management advice, new sales intelligence from SalesFuel, hot conversation topics, trending customers from AudienceSCAN and the motivational tip of the day. The company’s SalesFuel Insights mobile app is another key tool, delivering timely sales advice and marketing insights directly to your mobile device.

Another prong of support and education to help stakeholders evolve is Smith’s creation of SalesFuel’s annual, proprietary State of Media Sales™ survey. Since 2009, it has provided the most comprehensive independent study to identify the current landscape and emerging media sales trends and is widely anticipated within the space.

The genesis of all this occurred in 1989 when Smith created the company while working full-time at The Columbus Dispatch newspaper. Developing AdTracker computer software to aid cable television sales teams, his first sale to Time Warner’s local team in Lima, Ohio propelled him out of the paper and into entrepreneurship. Smith’s passion for sales is driven by his love of rallying teams around new, sometimes challenging, techniques and ideas, as well as a keen hunger to understand his client’s end clients.

Smith has an Executive Leadership Certificate from Cornell University and is a Gitomer Certified Advisor, one of just 151 professionals worldwide licensed to train and consult using the works of Jeffrey Gitomer. Smith is a speaker and panelist at industry trade shows and events. He did his undergraduate work at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

His thought leadership puts him in the media regularly, including this recent article in Martech Advisor. When not planning SalesFuel’s next breakthrough tool for his clients, you can find Smith on his bicycle riding with his team, The Honey Badgers, raising money for many charitable organizations. He has also served as Public Image Chair for Rotary International’s District 6690 which encompasses 59 Rotary clubs in Central and Southeast Ohio.

(the podcast on iTunes)

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