Whenever two or more are gathered, someone needs to be in charge, calling the shots. The greater the number of people in any given group, the more necessary it is to have an effective leader. This is especially true in the world of sales, where teamwork and cooperation are essential elements in creating success, which in turn benefits the company. A good leader fosters those qualities in a team.

Now that we've established the importance of having someone in charge, it's time to take a good look at what makes an effective sales team leader. The following ideas and tactics will serve any aspiring team leader well.

A good leader provides a good example for the rest of the team to follow

Get To Know Each Member
The article "Be a Better Coach: Share Ideas & Lead" correctly points out that a good leader should take the time to get to know everyone on the team. As the article says, "You'll learn that each team member has his or her style, strengths, and weaknesses. By being able to recognize and understand these, you can tailor your coaching appropriately and maximize results."

By developing a working understanding of what makes your members tick, you can make sure that everyone's being placed in the position where they can do the best, which increases the overall effectiveness of your team.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due, And In Public!
Everyone likes to be appreciated, and most enjoy having a little of the spotlight on them after they've done a good job. Public acknowledgment of a job well done serves two purposes. First, the recipient feels good and is motivated to keep up the good work. Second, everyone else sees it and most will be motivated to shoot for that brass ring as well.

It also shows your team that you're noticing their efforts and that you appreciate them. People who do a good job but are always ignored or overlooked gradually stop caring, which leads to a decrease in performance, or departures.

Don't Play Favorites, Be Fair
Human nature makes us prone to choose favorites and least-liked people. It's how we're wired. Unfortunately, it's a pretty bad way to lead a team. Of course, there's a fine line between showing favoritism and delegating responsibility to a subordinate who has proven time and again how reliable and competent they are.

If people wonder why you've chosen a few go-to types (and keep going to them!), explain that those people have earned your trust, so they get the more prestigious, high-profile assignments. If those team members come back with "I want the chance to prove myself too!", then congratulations, you've just motivated more of your team!

Set Goals, Pick A Direction, And Stick To Them
One of the key elements of a good leader is knowing where you're leading the people you're responsible for. They would appreciate knowing too! A team that lacks direction will flail around uselessly, wasting time and achieving little. A team that doesn't know what the performance benchmarks are will have no idea how much progress has been made, or whether or not they're even doing a good job. People need to know where the bus is going and that the driver knows what he's doing, so to speak.

By delineating goals and benchmarks, members of the team can see what progress is being made, both individually and as a group. This kind of transparency dispels the shadows of uncertainty, and that's good for morale and enthusiasm.

You can find a lot more about leading a team, with just a simple Google search. But if you want to save yourself some time, check out "What Makes A Good Team Leader: Leadership Traits All Leaders Must Possess."

Author's Bio: 

John Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. He believes the "Get to know your team members" is the most important piece of advice here.