The Passing of Time

I noticed that one of the sales forces we evaluated this week had a lot of salespeople that were fairly new – either to selling or to the company – which, by itself, is not particularly alarming. However, their sales manager was investing only 10% of his time on coaching and accountability.

The fact that this sales manager was ineffective at coaching and holding salespeople accountable is merely a footnote here. The real issue is that the company’s strategy is to develop a sales organization comprised of fairly inexperienced people. The company is providing resources in an attempt to support that strategy. However, the person charged with executing the strategy doesn’t seem to realize that inexperienced people need a tremendous amount of time, support, guidance, direction, coaching, motivating, training; and debriefing. And they must be held accountable to something measurable, every day.

This should have been very obvious to somebody, everybody, the manager, the executive team. Didn’t anyone wonder why the new people weren’t succeeding? Apparently not. They had decided up front, that since the group is inexperienced, they shouldn’t expect results for 18 months. So not until 18 months went by did they bother to begin questioning things. And then they asked the wrong questions.

These problems can be avoided by simply making sure that management is not only aware of the company’s strategies, but they are able to execute the strategies.