What sales manager wouldn’t snatch up an individual like that to boost sales output?
The CSO Insights 2015 Sales Productivity Optimization Study concludes that at least 22.4% of your current sales force will turnover this year, either voluntarily or not. Consider the tradition of management and organizational culture in your company. After all is said and done, your sales people are disposable contingent on their output.
The sales team you hire never has an opportunity to develop into a real team at all.
They are a sales-oriented work group assembled for the purpose of creating consistent sales output. That definition is based on post-industrial, assembly-line mindset.
I have a different definition of teams. You and I experience this definition every week when we watch sports, listen to a symphony orchestra and revel in the ability of scientific programs to analyze data which translate into innovative and life-saving patient outcomes.
Real teams are well-integrated, high-functioning groups of like-minded people. They are disciplined and self-motivated. They collaborate and co-create. They execute breakthrough innovation and performance output.
Your sales team isn’t a team like that, at all.
Real teams understand there is no wear-wash-rinse-repeat day in their world. They are adaptable yet resilient. They have each other’s backs. They pick up the slack when someone drops the ball.
The majority of sales team members function as individual internal competitors in order to retain their positions. They also are charged with competing against your business competition. A double-edged sword that is constantly held over their heads.
When your sales team members do well (meet individual quota, make individual numbers) your sales team is praised. There are awards. You, as manager, are credited for guiding their success. How true is this last statement?
Your sales culture of internal competition and intra-team envy as a means of “motivation” is carried forward. The bar is raised higher next quarter. Your management question is: “What have you sold for me lately?”
There’s no co-creation, collaboration, innovation or altruism in that tack.
Each quarter, your sales team is off to the sales races again. Like that hungry pack of dogs eternally chasing that rabbit around the race track.
Continuing to hire your sales team with an assembly-line mindset shortchanges the sustainability of your company over the long haul.
Your best sellers will use your company to gain experience. Then they will leave for more innovative sales environments which recognize that value creation is the result of team-based collaboration.
That is a conscious choice on the part of current and future top sellers. You see, they never thought they were disposable in the first place.
Have you missed out on this insight because you, yourself, were too busy chasing that rabbit?
Step back and gain perspective. The reason your sales team isn’t a real team may start with you, the manager. Take the first step to coach them in an innovative, collaborative manner.
Babette Ten Haken started out her career as a scientist. Early on, she was asked to bring clarity to the chaos of stalemated conversations between engineers, sales, IT, quality, legal and marketing folks. She focuses on building collaborative, innovative and profitable teams who are focused on excellence in the hand-off of strategy for execution. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.