Most Presidents and CEO’s are frustrated with :
- Sales teams that are run like fraternities
- Sales managers who rely on sales person optimism instead of holding sales people accountable to objective performance standards
- Sales managers who focus on poorly qualified pipeline hopefuls instead of on closing deals and the companies bottom-line
- Sales people blaming their poor sales results on a bad economy, bad leads, or other external factor
- Sales people not being proactive in the selling process—not making cold calls, not confronting objections, etc.
Most “Effective Leaders” understand they :
- Must break through the barriers that prevent sales organizations from getting to the next level
- Must identify the real sales-constraints that create sales bottlenecks
- Must break the cycle of going over the same thing, with the same sales reps, over and over again
to uncover the gaps in sales and sales management inefficiency that create anchors to your success and growth as well as your options for success. Why it is crucial that the CEO, President or Business Owner play an integral role in sales and business development ??
Mistake Number One – Management Complacency that converts directly into Sales team Complacency.
Mistake Number Two – Management Fails to Prioritize Sales as the Primary Initiative.
Although every Manager OR Business Owner desires to increase sales performance and productivity they fail to articulate this desire as a priority. Everything takes precedence over sales : marketing, accounting, product development, and so on. But what could be more important than identifying and removing the common obstacles to sales success and the growth of your business ?
When speaking to Senior Level Management and Business Owners, we see a common and dangerous denominator present in many : Because of their numerous time-consuming responsibilities they tend to repeatedly perform comfort zone activities. It is uncomfortable and risky to attempt to change the mind set and routines of their sales team.
Driving people out of a non-productive comfort zone is stressful. They too often become paralyzed with the downside possibilities and fail to do what is most important for themselves and their company, to drive sales productivity! In other words they have begun the process of allowing their sales team to manage, management !!
Stop doing more of what doesn’t work. Stop running your business out of fear. Are you at the point of discomfort ? Have you gotten to the point of realizing that remaining status-quo is more dangerous and financially devastating than changing your sales course of action ??
Mistake Number Three – Letting Past Success Block Future Performance.
Another reason for sales team complacency is that Business Owners and Sales Managers often accept excuses from sales people who have been successful in the past. It is usually those previously successful sales people who are most resistant to change—despite the fact that their past success may have occurred some time ago and been more the result of positive market conditions rather than stellar sales ability. It is also the business owner or sales manager who has experienced significant growth in the past who often defers realizing that change is essential to repeat that past success.
To make Top-line growth a primary initiative, management must first engage in a brutally frank discussion regarding potentially disturbing facts such as :
- Shrinking margins,
- Client decay,
- Limited success in developing new accounts,
- Limited success in further penetrating existing accounts
- Poor lead conversion
Have you come to the realization that maintaining the status-quo is more financially damaging than change itself ??
The economy is changing, buyers are more skeptical and you are working harder and longer for the same or less revenue. You have concluded the necessity for or have been asked to lead a change initiative. The problem identified is that what you or your organization have been relying upon for business development is not working to the point where you can gain the traction necessary to get to the next level.
The time, energy, effort and desire are present, however real change and results are not..