It’s really not their fault; it’s the companies they work for. Corporate leaders need to wake up and realize that just because someone is awesome at sales, it does not qualify them to lead and train sales professionals. Sales leadership roles are seen as a perk/reward for the top sales people – it’s the natural progression in their careers. The best sales person is not necessarily the best leader. Without the proper training on how to lead and coach, these newly-minted sales leaders start to make some bad choices that can damage the sales culture.
Developing leaders is hard work. It requires properly equipping them with a range of management styles and approaches that will fit each person on the team. With the lack of effective motivational strategies the method most frequently used is fear. Chances are, this is how they were ‘motivated’ through their career. Fear can be a strong motivator but it only works for so long, only goes so far, and leads to frequent turn over rates. Fear can take many forms: fear of being fired, fear of being moved onto a new account segment, fear of being humiliated, fear of the unexpected, and of not knowing where you stand. This mistreatment can lead to stress and illness – which also impacts the bottom line.
To compound the problem, some of these managers are running sales playbooks that work amazing for them and might work for less than 10% of the others within the sales team. For the other 90% it’s a horrible playbook that does not take into account their strengths and weaknesses. Most sales managers look at weakness as something that ‘has no place at their table’ and this is a big problem. The manager’s thinking is black and white: either you have ‘hustle’ or you don’t. They know that if they push that 90% hard and see only a 1% increase in sales, it’s considered a good quarter. Then they fire (or force out) the people who have burned-out and bring in a fresh bunch. Rinse and repeat.
Most sales managers are not schooled in the power of true leadership, in creating a safe environment where people can speak their minds. If they did, it would open up new ideas and new perspectives that can propel their companies forward.
To all the entrepreneurs out there who are looking to build their first sales team and bring on your first sales professionals. Please consider what kind of sales culture you want for your team. How will this fit within you're wider company culture? Dig deep into the leadership skills of your key sales people. They will become your future leaders as you scale up your business. With the right leadership mindset, they can create a sustainable sales engine for your business with engaged and motivated sales professionals.
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Until then, have a Powerful Sales day!
Daniel Moskowitz is the Chief Mentor at Powerful Sales Solutions in Canada and the founder of The Superhero Sales Academy. As a B2B sales professional for over 15 years, closing over 20 million dollars in deals during that time. He has worked in multiple industries and sectors, with hundreds of clients such as the Royal Bank of Canada, Wrigley’s, Jaguar, Rogers, Sunlife, Revera, BackRack, and Flight Centre. He has had the privilege of earning the trust of some of the smartest owners, sales leaders and marketers of the world's largest brands; while also working with many tech and non-tech start-ups and mid-level regional companies. Daniel is on an epic mission to change the way B2B sales are conducted. With a focus on Daniel’s Offer to Serve Methodology, businesses have a positive way to boost sales, develop amazing client relationships, leave a lasting legacy, and grow. Daniel has set a 10-year goal to teach 100,000 Entrepreneurs to sell with love, integrity and gratitude as his way to affect positive change in the world.