Are your sales people responsible?


Are your salespeople really responsible for their actions?

What level of sales performance do you allow? 

As a sales manager how often do you discuss and review targets and goals with your team? How much do you let your employees get away with? And who pays the price when performance isn’t up to scratch?

A sales manager or leader is ultimately responsible for the numbers that are turned in, so having a clear understanding of what the company expects from you and what you expect from your team is crucial to ensure sales success.


Sink or swim

The extent to which you apply this philosophy will be dependent on many factors. Some sales operations work on a ‘perform in three months or you’re out’ basis. Others are more nurturing. The best balance is to offer your salespeople the training they need, the tools they require to do their job, and a certain amount of flexibility and control over their work and how they do it. If they aren’t able to perform under those conditions, it is unlikely to be the fault of anything but their lack of ability. Not everyone is cut out for sales.


How tough do you have to be?

A job should not be seen as a right. An employee must earn it, daily, through good performance. Great performance should be acknowledged and rewarded (based on a consistent and agreed-upon system), to encourage and motivate further. While some people respond to positive activity and reinforcement, for many others it won’t be enough to drive or motivate them further. And that’s when you need to be tough. Getting this right is a matter of building the framework before you need it. Draw a line in the sand and make it clear what the consequences are when crossing it long before any transgression takes place. With prior notice of what will happen if they fail to deliver, you are placing full accountability and responsibility on the individuals, which is really where it should lie.


Treat your peers as adults

Those who shirk responsibility for their own actions are generally easy to spot. They are the ones who get caught out by the weather, the traffic and market downturns that don’t seem to affect the top performers. Perhaps they need more coaching or simply need to be taken aside and given a stern talking to, but the thing to remember here is that you are not a parent and they are not kids. Save your coaching efforts for those who are putting in the work without getting to the results because their mindset and prospecting activity need attention. And the others? They are a burden on you and other members of their team and it is not your responsibility to change them.


Think about this…

A high school staff body met to design a recording for their telephone answering machine. The staff looked at several possibilities and finally agreed on the following:

To lie about why your child is absent: Press 1

To make excuses for why your child did not do their homework: Press 2

To complain about what we do: Press 3

To swear at staff members: Press 4

To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you: Press 5

If you want us to raise your child: Press 6

If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone: Press 7

To request another teacher for the third time this year: Press 8

To complain about bus transportation: Press 9

To demand that your child get a higher grade: Press 0

If you realise this is the real world and your child must be accountable/responsible for his/her own behaviour, class work, and homework, and that it’s not the teacher’s fault for your child’s lack of effort, hang up and have a great day!

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