Fall is in the air which means it’s time for football season. The sport of football brings rituals, excitement and of course, the term half-time. Many a football team has been down at the half only to recover in the second and third quarter because of the pep talk and strategy discussion in the locker room.
What’s the score looking like for your company and what can you, as the coach do, to insure a year end touchdown: 3 important things to consider:
1. It’s all about the people. Get on the sales bus and look at the people in the seats. Then ask yourself 4 questions:
- If I had to do it again, would I hire this salesperson?
- Do I have a strong ‘bench’ that is able to go in and play ball in case of injury? (i.e. termination)
- Does this sales team possess the talent, work ethic and attitude to take the company where it needs to be in three years?
- Do I have a team or a bunch of individual players?
2. Bad behavior does not occur in a vacuum. Look at your compensation plan.
Is your comp plan rewarding good behavior and de-incentivizing bad behavior? My early lessons in sales and business were with a startup company that eventually went public and is still very successful today.
In many startup organizations, there is a natural reward and consequence system in place because they are boot strapped and not heavily funded. The reward and consequence system is simple: produce or you’re gone. It isn’t because the management team is heartless. It’s because a startup doesn’t have the luxury of carrying non-producers.
How many of you are still rewarding salespeople who are not producing or selling the right lines of products and services? Here’s the new reality going forward: your sales team must be better than they were three years ago. Do you have the right people on the sales bus and is your compensation plan rewarding the right behaviors and attitudes?
3. Look at yourself, the sales coach. Would you follow you? Are you leading by example?
- When is the last time you attended a workshop on leadership? Running effective meetings? Performance feedback?
- Do you motivate your sales team by fear or by buy-in?
- Are you doing a good job of duplicating top performers and performance? (If you’re still closing the business, you are in sales, not sales management.)
- Is your sales culture one of results or excuses?
- Do you have a defined, consultative sales process in place?
- Are you hitting the fun quota and the sales quota?
It’s only half-time. Take a look at your players and playbook. You’re only 50 yards away from a touchdown.
President and Chief Selling Officer