You Get The Sales Organisation You Deserve – A Guide To The Most Common Failings

By | May 16, 2007
  • Salespeople will behave in ways that align with the way they are recognised and rewarded. If you want to (for instance) make them more customer focused partly reward them for customer satisfaction, retention rates etc.
  • If sales people seem to obsess about the wrong things such as cars, sandbagging their numbers, picking fights with internal functions, look at their sales management. Negative role models are surprisingly influential in setting the wrong tone and focus. Change the management or change the management.
  • In many sales organisations new recruits either do very well or crash and burn in the first year (sometimes sooner). This sink or swim approach is very expensive and has nothing to do with building appropriate sales cultures. It creates a personality centred culture around the successful ‘big beasts’ of the sales organisation, ones are well established and know the rules. To undermine this problem, develop great induction and training plans. Coach.
  • You would rather have a mediocre performer occupy a role than a vacancy. This is the fastest way to drive down standards and create cultural acceptance of average performance levels. Change the performance or change the performer – fast.
  • Salespeople will behave transactionally, like only doing things if incentivised, if they are treated transactionally. Value their broader contribution, involve them in strategy, service development, product programmes, pay them decent salaries and welfare packages, build common purpose around Vision and Values. Treat them as adults.
  • Micro-manage sales people and they will game the system, finding ways to subvert procedures, even rip you off. Treat them as adults. See previous point.
  • Only recognise the people at the top of league tables and you’ll have more losers than winners. Cultivate the principle of not beating each other, but beating personal targets. That way you can potentially have a whole team of winners.

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