A recent discussion with a sales manager prompted the creation of this blog. Some of her salespeople were behind plan and she stated, “I need to figure out how to convince my sales team to do more consistent sales activity.” I stopped her and shared with her that a different conversation and question was more appropriate. The question is pretty simple. “Do you want to be in sales?”
A good salesperson doesn’t have to be convinced to execute sales activity, especially if he or she is behind plan. A committed salesperson knows that business development is part of his job description. It is what he is paid to do. (Can you imagine a surgeon showing up to the hospital needing to be convinced to operate?)
Now, before we put all the heat on the salesperson, let’s also take a look at a sales manager’s role in this prospecting piece. Most sales managers have not set out specific expectations or measurements on sales activity. For some reason, sales managers like to leave this area a little gray because of their fear of being called a micromanager. (I wonder if athletes think their coaches are micromanaging them when they conduct practice…)
It’s time to end this ground hog conversation. Sales managers, get clear on expectations for sales activity. Salespeople, do the sales activity and eliminate excuses for not executing. (The dog did not eat your homework.) It’s time to bring in business!
Colleen Stanley Chief Selling Officer