5 Pieces of Advice Every Sales Leader Needs to See in 2024, According to Modern Sales Leader Winners

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Jay Fuchs
Jay Fuchs


Welcome to “The Pipeline” — a weekly column from HubSpot, featuring actionable advice and insight from real sales leaders. This week‘s post comes from five winners of HubSpot’s Modern Sales Leader award.

sales leaders being more effective sales leaders because they received sales leadership advice from MSL25 winners

Recently, HubSpot presented the inaugural Modern Sales Leader award — a distinction recognizing 25 sales and revenue pioneers, working at the forefront of their fields.

We recently reached out to some of the winners for their insight on what sales leaders should prioritize, some principles they should live by, and how they should work with their teams in 2024.

We‘ve compiled their answers in this post — so without further ado, we present five pieces of advice all sales leaders need for 2024. Let’s dive in.

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5 Pieces of Advice All Sales Leaders Need to Know in 2024

1. Create a sales process you enjoy buying from.

Bryan Huber, Head of Sales at Völur, stressed that sales leaders essentially apply the Golden rule when constructing a sales process — sell to others the way you would want to be sold to. Here's what he had to say:

"My primary guiding principle in sales is to create the sales process you enjoy buying from. I’m a B2B seller, but I have also been a B2B buyer. Nothing frustrated me more than when it was obvious that I was in a sales process that wasn’t best for me, but best for the vendor.

“As sellers, we should strive to make buying as easy as possible by providing the right tools the customer needs to make the right decision at the right time. Each customer is different, and each sale is different, therefore each sales process needs to be different.”

2. Effective leadership starts with caring about (and showing you care about) your people.

Gabrielle Blackwell, Creator of The One on One Newsletter and Sales Development Manager at Culture Amp, suggests that sales leaders prioritize the needs and interests of their team members. She says:

"In the year 2024, it shouldn‘t be a radical message for sales leaders to treat their people as people. Yet, so many managers seem to have glanced over that lesson. Take your people’s success personally, build up relationships with your folks, advocate for the needs of your team, and be a model of great leadership and mentorship for your folks. When you do this, you'll get folks who will put in the extra effort and go the extra mile.

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"Sales leaders get things confused about what it means to lead — it‘s not because you have a title that makes you a leader. It’s the fact that people will want to and choose to follow you that makes you a leader. The question then becomes, what does it take for people to trust in someone's leadership enough to follow them?

"The answer — people will follow those who give a damn about them. What that means for sales leaders on a day-to-day basis is to find ways to show care to your people.

“Reach out to them and say ‘hello’ just to say ‘hello.’ Find ways to support them through coaching moments like offering feedback on calls, giving them a shoutout for hitting their daily metrics, encouraging them when they're having an off day, and being present for them in team meetings and one-on-ones.”

3. Build relationships — not just sales targets.

Michael Blumental, CRO at Hyro, emphasizes the value of relationship-building in 2024. She says:

"A successful sales leader recognizes the importance of building strong relationships with their team, clients, and stakeholders — not just focusing on hitting sales targets. While numbers are crucial, they don't tell the whole story.

"Encourage your team to invest time in understanding clients' needs and fostering trust. This approach not only helps in creating a loyal customer base but also in understanding the evolving market demands.

“By prioritizing relationships, sales leaders can guide their teams to deliver value that goes beyond transactions — leading to sustainable growth and a positive team atmosphere. Remember, in the world of sales, a strong relationship can be the deciding factor between a one-time deal and a lifelong client.”

4. Community-led growth will be the play in 2024.

Cliff Simon, CRO of Carabiner Group, advises sales leaders to understand the value of community-led growth, going forward. He says:

"In a world that is fraught with fake, idealized versions of reality flooding our eyes on social, people long for that which is real. There is no substitute for authentic relationships. We all have the internal desire to know and to be known. It's core to who we are.

"Knowing one another and sharing knowledge about the things that genuinely make our lives better with the ones we care about is nothing new. It’s long been the way that B2C works. Create a brand identity and with it, an affinity. Have a great product and by rite, your user base will proselytize the masses.

"In B2B, we can do much of the same. Deliver incredible products that make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who rely on them. Our role is to incubate those relationships and to foster an environment in which that experience is magnified.

"G2 and others like them help to validate the social proof, but the next step is actually hearing it from the people you know, love, and trust. We can do that by creating intimate experiences for them to share together.

“This will be the year of dinners, round tables, quiet conversations around a fire, thoughtful morning runs, and formulating concepts over coffee. And I can’t wait.”

5. Create space for open and transparent feedback.

Ken Ferguson, CRO of Virtualitics, Inc., emphasized the importance of creating a space where your people can tell you the hard things.

"As a leader, it‘s impossible to fix or affect something you are unaware of — or aren’t informed about. Making space for and welcoming feedback or criticism in your daily interactions with your team can help foster an environment and culture that makes it easy for people to tell you the hard things.

"If your team feels comfortable bringing up things leadership may not want to hear in a constructive way, we can understand the deep systematic issues that may be holding the team back or impeding overall success.

"I had a rule in our house when we were raising our two children. That rule works in the business world if applied properly. That rule is, ‘You will never be punished for telling the truth.’ There may be consequences to choices made, but we never punished them for telling us hard things.

"Once we knew about a problem, it was possible to solve the problem. In fact, we rewarded it and held true to that agreement. If we take that principle to heart in business, and we reward, not punish responsible truth-telling — then, we create an environment where effective problem-solving can become a daily core skill of the team.

“No more hiding deal drama, or being afraid to uncover mistakes made, transparency and group problem-solving always wins and it starts with leadership creating that environment.”

Ultimately, all of the advice and insight these leaders had to offer stem back to one fundamental premise — good leaders put others first. Whether it be your team, your prospects, or your existing customers, you need to prioritize their interests, going forward.

Build and foster strong relationships with the people you‘re working for and the people who work for you, and you’ll set yourself up to lead as effectively as possible in 2024 and beyond.

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