One of our existing accounts was moving to a new location and wanted advice and quotes on upgrades and/or new products. Nice. In an effort to build the right solution I asked one of our technicians to be on a call to clarify the client’s needs/usage. On the call the technician instantly starts telling them what they need. Not asking… but telling them what they need. No sales strategy or care for my previous conversations or budgets discussed. In fact, most of the products this technician was selling were way over what I had thought they could afford and would have never proposed. I am now very uncomfortable with the conversation and am starting to wish I hadn’t invited the technician. What happened next was such a surprise however. The customer agrees with the technician and asks to get a contract sent over. What?
I have worked with terrible managers and have worked with a few that were remarkable. Those that were remarkable brought out a work ethic and creativity superior to those that weren’t in every case. Long term relationships were built and loyalty attained. What made them different? What management skills did they have that a bad manager didn’t?
Asking employees to become a company evangelist is at an all time high. Businesses are not only expecting this of their leaders but now they expect it from all. Everyone… from the front receptionist to the part time warehouse worker. From engineering, accounting, sales, and operations. Is that fair? Is that even possible?
We’ve all had them and maybe we were one ourselves. Maybe we still are? Managers that simply could not let go of any control. This goes for owners of businesses as well. You know the type… they’re pretty sure no one can do the job as well as them. They have the “If you want a job done right you have to do it yourself” philosophy. I wish I could tell you this applies to new managers only… unfortunately it doesn’t.
You receive an email from your direct manager that you’re up for a annual appraisal of your work. Heart stops, anxiety sets in. The dreaded day comes and the performance reviews begin. You soon realize that any disagreement with what is being said is futile no matter how empathetic the manager sounds. Survival mode ensues and a “I just want to get through it” mentality takes over. Sound familiar?
You made the decision to replace or bring on new sales talent. Maybe the last hire or group of hires didn’t go so well. Your company’s financial gurus will not accept the costs of bad hires and slow ramp up sales people. You’ve been given lofty goals to attain and you have no time, or patience, for “non-starters”. This time it has to be done right. Period.
What does it mean to be driven? To have drive? Is it important to sales success? Where does it come from? Can it be taught? One of the hardest challenges as a sales manager is hiring great talent. Even after multiple interviews, sales evaluation exams, and impeccable references contacted a less than hire can still happen. What makes them less than? I can sum this up in one word, Drive.