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May 9, 2019

The No. 1 Reason Sales Managers Hire Culture Misfits

There’s always been a lot of talk about company values and culture. But sales managers continue to hire salespeople that wreak havoc on their sales culture. For example: the proverbial bull in a china shop that always achieves quota but breaks a lot of glass while doing so. It might be the salesperson whose bad attitude spreads like a virus. Or it’s the salesperson that shows up demanding everything be perfectly in in order before they can be successful: perfect lead gen, perfect CRM system, etc.

How do these culture misfits get hired? Sales managers often don’t slow down to think and get clear about their non-negotiables. And when a sales manager is not clear about what he or she won’t accept, they put themselves in a position to accept and hire salespeople that don’t support the company values or culture. 

What are your non-negotiables? Here are a few that our clients have shared with us.

  1. No rock stars. This is the salesperson that “crushes” quota, but doesn’t play well with others. They like the rock star status and as a result, don’t share information to help other members of the team achieve the same level of success. They never give up time to assist those stuck in a slump or trying to get a difficult deal across the finish line. As one of my very smart sales managers stated:

“One rock star can’t achieve the targets set for the next five years.”

  1. No slackers. Big work ethic. Yes, there are still companies interviewing for salespeople that like to work and will do the work necessary to be successful in an increasingly competitive business environment. As a result, these companies don’t tout pingpong tables and beer Fridays in their recruitment ads (though they offer both). Their ads are written to attract a work-hard, play-hard candidate.

“We’re looking for salespeople that are motivated by working for a company that rewards hard work and personal performance. Late risers need not apply.”

  1. Appetite for learning. This competency is a common denominator for all of our clients. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have hired us! Potential candidates are vetted for the ability and desire to learn. Our clients recognize that to be a thought leader in their industry, they need to hire salespeople that are motivated by learning new thoughts and ideas.

Sales managers, get clear on your non-negotiables.

Good Selling!

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