Salesforces across the country are made up of for the most part hard working professionals. Like in any job there are always a few outliers, looking for a quick buck, or to light up your smoke, but there is some place that they would rather be. Actually, that is a line from a Billy Joel song, but you get my drift. The vast majority selling today appreciate sales leadership that is honest, straightforward and has a little skin in the game. After all, if you cannot learn sales from those above you and then above them what is the real point in sales leadership. A basic tenet is that everyone in a sales organization that is in a sales role should be knowledgeable in sales and be able to conduct the sales process of that product. Imagine the Chief Pilot of an airline who is unable to fly a plane. Not only is it not possible, but that Chief pilot usually flies the line to keep their license current during the year. It also serves the purpose to let the more junior pilots learn from those with more experience and for the Chief to see how the world is operating at ground level. Is this something you see in your sales organization today, I am curious?
When we get into it, Salespeople have some basic needs and wants. Yes, of course they want to be able to make money and have an achievable goal and compensation plan, but beyond that they want trust, that they will do the right thing and get the job done. They would like to be heard when they are asked for feedback and they give it, and they do not want to be micromanaged. Additionally, they want support and expertise when they need it and yes, most salespeople want to be coached as long as it is someone who can coach and make them better. I am sure you too have heard the horror stories about the Sales Vice Presidents who have never been out on a sales call in their organization. Or the Sales Leaders, who ride around in the field with their people but never get out of the car to go on the sales calls. Or even the Sales Leaders who only go on calls to a part of the country where they have family or personal interests. Recently, I chatted with an agent that spends most of their Monday’s on Zoom calls doing role plays to learn canned verbiage that their leader wants them to regurgitate with their prospects. Turns out the sales leader has never sold a day in their life but feels this is the best use of his tenured teams time. It begs asking the question,” If the fox is guarding the henhouse, who is watching the fox?