Are you and your sales team impacted by the current downturn in the economy? Congratulations to you if your organization’s sales are still going strong because many are struggling today. The majority of business owners and sales people have already experienced some degree of reduced sales.No matter how the economy is affecting you and your team, it is your job as their manager, coach or leader to help them meet their targets and/or increase sales.What does it take to lead a sales team toward maximizing their sales results in a weak economy?You know the answer. A weak economy demands a disciplined leader who can demonstrate the appropriate behaviours. These are astute behaviours that you intend your sales people to follow by example. A strong leader must now invest more time with his sales team, engage them in keen discussions, ask more questions, coach them enthusiastically and guide them through these tough times.As a sales team, there is a need to be more proactive; build and maintain strong relationships; work harder and smarter than your competitors; and accomplish all this without increasing your cost of the sale.Of course this is easier said than done. The ability to get a sales team to be more proactive or to work harder and smarter becomes even more challenging during a weak economy. Sales representatives tend to be easily influenced by external negative factors in the marketplace and these factors are not usually within their control.It is common knowledge that most people are inclined to buy for emotional reasons and sales people tend to be rather affecting.Sales people work hard and are justly excited when times are sound and everyone’s buying. Nevertheless, they’re also the ones who tend to be affected detrimentally by any down-turn in sales.As a disciplined sales leader, I have always understood when times get tough, the tough get going. Undoubtedly, this is the time to step up and do more.Conversely, when markets get tougher most sales people tend to get depressed, work less and become reactive instead of more proactive. In other words, sales people, like anyone else, become a product of their environment.As a leader, what kind of environment are you providing? What is your mental state and that of your sales team? Is the sales team engaged and proactive? Is everyone working harder and thinking smarter? Are you and your team able to perform better than the current trend?Your answers to these questions are important as it reflects back to you.How do you propose to increase your leadership efforts during this weak economy and challenging sales environment? Remember your team will learn by your example and to coin a phrase: “monkey see, monkey do”.Demonstrate appropriate behaviours and “do what you have to do even when you don’t want to do it.” This is a disciplined leader!