You read a lot about how to help your salespeople succeed and most of it is rehashed information from 30 years ago with some updated terminology. If so many people know how to help you to help your salespeople succeed, they why isn’t it working? Let’s take a walk together though the top 5 things that, if you do them, will ensure your salespeople’s failure. By knowing these it will help you stop the ‘bleeding’ of people, time, and financial resources by stopping these behaviors. Then you can go to work on helping them succeed.
#5 – Provide no, or very little, personal interaction
No one can perform at a high and sustained level without personal interaction. The human psyche and emotions have needs that must be met which only personal interaction can fill. Even the most battle-hardened salesperson needs to know they are significant and that their contribution is valued. With little or no direction, your people will either fail or go to your competitor that values them and will invest time with them.
#4 – Provide no direction
New salespeople are sometimes told to “sink or swim” after some initial training. Seasoned salespeople are thought to know what they need to do. Sales Managers with these attitudes are taking the easy way out for themselves and throwing all of the responsibility and accountability on the salespeople. This will guarantee 80%+ of your salespeople will under-perform or fail.
#3 – Rework the compensation plan
I’ve seen it and you’ve seen it. A company or a sales manager decides they need more profit or that the salespeople need to work harder to make a living, because it’s “too easy” for them to succeed. Success is rewarded with punishment. Sales decrease and people leave and new salespeople are hired under the new plan. But, they never seem to achieve the success of the original compensation plan. And, a revolving door has started. At an average cost of $20,000 to hire a new salesperson (this is just to get them in the door and without any training), was it really a good idea to change the compensation plan to “save money”?
#2 – Embarrassment, harassment, and negligence
People have innate abilities to deal with embarrassment, harassment, and negligence. It’s call Avoidance. They quit performing and leave. Many sales managers that use these tactics are following the example of bosses they’ve had or of their parents. People can only do what they know, so they use these to “motivate” under-performers. It would be less painful for all if they just terminated them. If they aren’t terminated, they’ll soon leave anyway.
#1 – Threat of termination
When a person’s livelihood is threatened, primeval instincts take over. People go into “Survival Mode”. The brain shuts down all the creativity, excitement, motivation, enthusiasm, etc. All the traits the sales manager wanted to bring to the fore have been totally squashed. The moment the threat is stated, in their mind, the salesperson has already reworked their resume and begun deciding where to start sending it. Oh, and if they do stay for a while, it’s only their body that’s present. They have already mentally quit.
Stop using the above tactics and you’ll discover that sales will increase by virtue of the change in management style. And, you want more, right? If you’re a sales manager that wants to lead of top-performers, then you need a formula for success that meets the needs of 2015 and beyond, not one that’s stuck somewhere in the past.