I just attended a conference with 100 other sales force development experts. What has become clear to entire group is that the economic meltdown has made the field of sales much harder and that the change is permanent. Prior to the slide, many salespeople appeared good, but they were really only order-takers. They were able to hide their shortcomings behind good products and services, high-quality leads provided by their company, and good company strategy. Those days are gone.
Many companies are having trouble evaluating why salespeople that used perform decently are no longer making the grade. A great example is in one of my clients. One of his salespeople had been among the company’s top 3 producers for the 15 years running. He failed to perform last year and is, at best, in the middle of the group this year. As we have worked with him, we learned that he was always fortunate enough to receive some of the best leads because of his status with the company. From those leads he always closed at least 2 really large deals that would carry him for the year. He was never good at finding his own deals. He was not used to making the 6 to 8 phone calls it now takes to get through to to people that have asked him to call. He was also using a “presenting” sales style rather than consultative sales approach that is more appropriate in today’s environment.
Do you have a mix of the wrong people? Do you have salespeople that can help you achieve your sales goals? Are there more appropriate salespeople out there? Are you measuring the right things? Are you ready to compete? Objective Management Group provides a free tool to help you grade your sales force. Click here to check it out: Sales Force Grader.
Howard Shore is a business growth expert who works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm, please contact Howard Shore at [phone link=”true”] or email@example.com.