- October 1, 2014
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
At lunchtime one day, my curry-chicken salad tasted so bad that I returned it to the deli next door. The owner asked what was wrong and when I told him, he tasted it, said it was fine, and get this – he returned the uneaten portion of my salad into the bowl in the display case. Yuck! And I never went back. Until yesterday. I was desperate and didn’t have enough time to go anywhere else, but I knew enough to stay away from the specialty salads.
The crowds that used to line up were gone. The staff was about half the size. The menu, and specifically, the browning chicken salads in the display case were still there. The owner was operating the cash register, calling names when their meals were ready, and taking their payments. Instead of working on his business, fixing what was wrong, making much needed changes and urging customers back into his deli, he was handling the money – the one thing that any unskilled worker could do.
He reminded me of so many sales managers I have met during the past 30 years.
Instead of working on the sales force, working with their salespeople, developing their people, fixing what was wrong, guiding and directing, coaching and motivating, recruiting and holding salespeople accountable, they were spending their time doing busy work, running reports, sending emails, collecting call reports, creating quotes and proposals, approving pricing, approving incoming orders, watching the sales numbers, prodding their salespeople to close more deals, and doing simple administrative tasks that a sales assistant or coordinator could do.
Of course, the most important of these sales management functions is coaching. Coaching salespeople should account for 50% of a sales manager’s time. Coaching salespeople has the greatest impact on development and revenue. Yet only 15% of all sales managers spend even 25% of their time coaching. Instead of focusing on what has the greatest impact on their business, sales managers are often like the deli owner – just standing at the register and taking the money.
Speaking of coaching, next Wednesday, I’ll be leading a Top Sales Academy session on “How to Master the Art of Coaching Salespeople”. It’s free to register and attend and it would be terrific to have you on the webinar! Please use this link to register for the Noon ET session on October 8.
Speaking of recruiting, last week I led a webinar/tour of the “Magic Behind OMG’s Sales Candidate Assessment”. If you weren’t able to attend, you can see the slides here and watch the 20-minute presentation, recorded live, here.
As long as I’m sharing links, the latest issue of Top Sales Magazine is now available here. This issue includes an article of mine that you’ll want to read on Why Sales Leaders Continue to Hire the Wrong Salespeople.