Do any of you know anyone like that? Life is prescriptive for them. These folks feel compelled to follow a process – someone else’s magic formula. If they follow all the steps in the order prescribed, voila! They will be successful.
If they follow all of the steps in the order prescribed and they don’t succeed, their failure is your fault. They were following your process, after all.
- The problem is that they don’t take responsibility for creating their own processes. They’ve never seen the Career Opportunity in doing so.
- They won’t assume accountability if they fail. They don’t understand that failure opens the door to Professional Development.
- They prefer to live comfortably within the job descriptions and departmental silos which you have created for them within the confines of your own company.
You hire these people. You manage them. You provide them with your prescriptive Company Processes and Practices (caveat here: when it comes to Safety, your book is their bible).
Some of them even sell for you.
Their professional risk aversion places them in the lower half of that 60% of the selling curve. They aren’t complete failures, in spite of their best efforts.
Yes, these folks simply aren’t contacting enough prospects to reinforce the sales methods and processes you’ve taught them. Why? They are hanging on, intimidated by your product and service mix.
They can sell. Just not your stuff.
Your efforts may better be spent directing them to prospect, develop, and close the types of accounts they are capable of closing. These accounts may be low-hanging fruit. These accounts are not ideal long-term customers for your company.
Why beat these folks with sticks for four quarters of not making their numbers only to conclude that they’ve failed at your process?
- Talk turkey with them now.
- Manage them to that self-discovery. They can be successful selling, using your process.
- They will realize not only the types of customers they are comfortable selling to, but also the types of products and services that reinforce their sales self-confidence.
- More often than not, they will choose to leave your sales team on their own.
- Assist them in moving to a company that allows them to become successful selling the type of stuff they are comfortable selling.
The next time you are frustrated with this type of rep, coach them right out of your prescriptive process. They will still manage to positively impact your sales team’s numbers. You will help them develop their career.
- They will chart their own path and better understand what their next sales career move should be.
- You will spend less time trying to get them to conform to processes they can’t or won’t embrace.
- Their life becomes less prescriptive.
- Your own sales management style may become less prescriptive, and more innovative, as well.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, catalyzes revenue-producing business transition, startup growth and professional development. She works with technical and non-traditional sellers in your organization so everyone becomes capable of driving revenue.