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Interview with Fundamentals of Sales Leadership Course Creator Mike Stankus


What’s the purpose of the Fundamentals of Sales Leadership course?

The purpose of the course  is to provide sales leaders with knowledge, strategies, and tactics that IMMEDIATELY improve effectiveness. We took something as broad and complex as Sales Leadership and broke it down into manageable, understandable components. The course is going to help participants master each component as well as understand how all of it fits together. It is designed to be immediately actionable and have an impact from day 1. 

How did you come up with the idea for the course?

I ran a consulting business that helped companies get their sales engines to the next level. In the span of 5 years, my colleagues and myself worked with about 200 companies around the globe and got exposed to thousands of sales leaders. I was struck by the fact that these sales leaders had a tremendous commitment to their jobs, yet they lacked the know-how on how to lead their teams. Then in 2006 I was asked to speak at a sales kickoff for one of the largest software companies in the world at the time. My topic was fundamentals of sales leadership and I had about 400 of the top sales leaders from the company, worldwide, in the room. As I started my talk, I had a wild idea to ask the group “Who in this room has had any formal training on how to be a Sales Leader?” and of the 400 people in the room, only one of them raised their hand. And once I saw that, I knew I had an opportunity to create something that would be really valuable and useful. 

What went into the creation of the course?

That was the hard but fulfilling part. I had a ton of content from my consulting business, but then I had to do months of research to pull together all of the components. I was able to build a framework of Sales Leadership and then break it down into 15+ components. Then for each component, I developed key concepts, showed how the key concepts could be applied in various situations, then create tools to expedite the learning and execution of each key concept, and then suggest specific next steps to put the key concepts into action. It took me about 6 months to get the course together, but in the process I got to know several tremendous sales leaders and a lot of their ideas are in the course. 

Why did you make this investment?

I realized pretty early in my sales career that becoming a great sales leader was my best opportunity to change my life from a career advancement and wealth creation standpoint. I became extremely passionate about the topic and made a commitment to continue to improve. It was this investment in myself that really paid off for me. I hope this course helps others to transform their life as well. 


Take me to the Course

Michael Stankus
Mike has been leading sales organizations for thirty + years and is currently a Senior Vice President at Acquia which is the 8th fastest growing private software company on the Inc. 500. Since joining in Acquia in 2011, Mike has built and led the inside sales, BDR, account management, and sales operations groups worldwide. The Linking Sales Leaders program was created by Mike in 2008. Since it’s inception, hundreds of sales leaders have completed the program and continue to leverage the concepts, content, and tools. Mike is frequent speaker at CRO events and manages the Linking Sales Leaders group on LinkedIn which has 14,000+ members.

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