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.
The sales industry as a whole has always been a transitional career move/path environment. Today it’s more than ever. Managers, Owners, Presidents, and CEO’s are short fused with their sales teams. Sales members are looking at the proverbial “grass is greener” across all industries in response. A great time to hire and get that sales team dreamed of. Or so I thought.
I’m a big fan of tracking performance metrics, in-depth and granular. I’m talking about much more than just tracking leads, appointments and opportunities however. I monitor actual daily activity that rewarded a salesperson with sales leads in the first place. Where did the lead come from? What activity was performed to get that lead? Are the sales leads quality? I want to know what is working to produce qualified leads. Here’s why.
All through my sales career I was taught, and I have taught, to use the infamous “why” tactic. I am sure you have done the same. The potential customer poses an objection and you ask why. “Why do you say that?”, “Why would that be?” and so on. Simple and an easy way to overcome objections. It is also very irritating.
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?
You just went through the painful process of interviewing for a new sales manager position and have finally scored a great position. Throughout the process you made promises and presented your capabilities persuasively. Now you’re sitting at your new desk and you realize it’s time to put your money where your mouth was. Oh crap!
As managers we spend a lot of our precious time locating and hiring the “right people”. Performing interview after interview until we finally find that person that will help take our team to the infamous next level. We onboard them with sales tools and send them on their way. We are fired up and believe they are going to make the difference desired. Then over time things have changed unfortunately. We are now less than impressed and not sure without micromanaging we can trust them to bring in the needed sales. We stopped believing.
Anyone that has sold for any length of time has developed comfortable sales habits. So… when a trainer or manager comes in and offers a new way to increase sales… they may not see the value. They start into a diatribe of exception examples of why the new training idea won’t work for them. Irritating and short sighted.