How Not To Look Like A Sales Idiot As An Owner

We saw the ‘how not to look like an idiot” post on the Smart Brief on Sales, and if there’s one area where most business owners and/or sales managers look like idiots, it’s in the firing and hiring of sales reps and inside customer service personnel. We’re only going to deal with sales reps in this post, because it’s the more serious of the problems, in our view.

1. Don’t hang on to underperforming sales reps too long. This is by far the most serious error most owners make; they always think that Joe, just because he hasn’t been close to quota in his entire career, is going to magically perform and hit his numbers. The same is true for Susie, although in our experience over the last two years, women have been outperforming men in outside sales jobs.

2.  Clearly explain what the metrics and overall goals for your reps….so many calls or leads handled, so many demos and so many closes. You can actually work this process backwards from the financial goals that the rep has.

3. If you, as the owner aren’t doing a good job at sales, or hate sales, fire yourself. In our experience, 90% of owners are their best salespeople, but they also have a company to run, and may get distracted. If this is happening, hire a salesperson, and not just the first warm body that comes through the door. We have courses to help you evaluate the success attributes that you should be looking for. Hire for what you need, not based on your gut. This process is a clear case of your gut not being smarter than your head.

4. Keep your reps on their path. Sure, there is room for deviations, but not for long. Reps do suffer burnout, and may be less motivated, especially if their wife gets a promotion, but don’t use deviations as an excuse to let them slide.

4. If you have more than three or four sales reps, consider making one of them a working sales manager. Hire the manager for good motivation and management skills, not just because he or she is the top sales person. Top sales performers seldom make the best managers, because they enjoy selling. And financially, they might suffer a pay decrease to take a management job.

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3 Responses to How Not To Look Like A Sales Idiot As An Owner

  1. I’m so happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  2. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme. Appreciate it

  3. Lyle Hagley says:

    In these days of austerity along with relative stress about taking on debt, lots of people balk about the idea of using a credit card in order to make purchase of merchandise or perhaps pay for any occasion, preferring, instead just to rely on the actual tried and also trusted technique of making settlement – raw cash. However, if you’ve got the cash available to make the purchase in full, then, paradoxically, this is the best time for them to use the credit cards for several reasons.

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