David Norman is the General Manager at Wingate Consumer Finance. After 4 years in sales management roles in South Africa, David relocated to Australia and began his career in the consumer finance industry with GE Capital and Wingate Consumer Finance. His spanning career included a 2 year post in New Zealand as the Head of the GE Capital personal loan business based in Auckland. He was then appointed the Director of Sales & Distribution for the GE Consumer Finance business in Australia. Since joining Wingate Consumer Finance in 2013 he then took on the role of General Manager. David is known as an inclusive senior executive with proven success in leading large teams, across many distribution channels, delivering sustained business growth with expertise in strategic planning, people leadership, commercial excellence and sales force effectiveness.
In your experience, what are some of the key attributes that make an effective sales leader?
You need to be a strong and effective communicator that instils confidence in the team.
An open and honest style is really important to get this right. Have the confidence to empower your staff to do what you hired them to do.
If you don’t feel you can delegate and empower your staff then you have hired the wrong people. I also believe you need to be balanced and measured regardless of how the business is performing. This will inspire your team to have confidence in you as a leader and in the direction of the business.
There are a myriad of sales coaching techniques and styles. What are are your top tips for cutting through the noise?
I think we can over complicate sales and I don’t get too caught up in the theoretical side of sales coaching. For me it is down to a few points:
- Targets – Make sure that the sales targets are clear and all staff understand what their goals are.
- Feedback – Meet with each sales person regularly to identify gaps and provide them constant feedback on what you want out of them. Leave them after each coaching session with clear, agreed actions you wish them to take to improve their sales and provide this in writing.
- Follow up – Set a follow up time to gauge improvement and adoption of the actions you agreed on.
- Repeat – This process is ongoing and you will need to refine the actions as you go.
As a sales leader who has managed large teams for some of the world’s biggest brands, what are the most successful strategies you have enlisted to build and drive high performing teams?
Always hire people that are potentially better than you. You need to surround yourself with the best people. Don’t compromise when you are recruiting. Once you have the right people in place make sure you continue to develop them both personally and within their role.
You need be a very effective communicator with your team and be open and honest both on their performance and the direction of the business.
You need to get your people to do what you want them to do for their reasons. You can only do this by gaining their confidence, trust and respect. No longer does this come with the title only……you need to earn this.
If you could go back in time what advice would you have for yourself when you were first starting your professional career?
Continually seek feedback. When I first started my professional career I found feedback and constructive criticism very confronting and at times I resented it. You need to embrace this feedback as it is designed to help you improve in your role and to build your career. I also would have got a mentor right at the beginning of my career and I would encourage everybody to have a mentor that you can trust.
How have you found working with Brook Recruitment?
I have found the team at Brook Recruitment to be very responsive and thorough in their dealings with us. They have managed to successfully fill a number of roles for our business and have done this well within expected timeframes. The quality of candidates have been strong which has been a real positive for our business.