Is the “Lack of Commitment to Sales Success” Finding Predictive?

Dave Kurlan is a top-rated keynote speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and expert on all things sales and selling.

So you have your sales force evaluated and in addition to learning why you are getting the results you are getting, and what you can do to significantly improve those results, you are surprised by some of the individual findings on some of your salespeople. One of the findings that generates the most push-back is Lack of Commitment to sales success.

We could hear any of the following comments as push-back to this finding:

  • our best salesperson,
  • nobody tries harder,
  • works longer hours than anyone,
  • been here for years,
  • landed our biggest customer,
  • an up-and-comer, and/or
  • we really like her.

The list could go on and on, but none of the rebuttals actually addresses commitment: one’s willingness to do whatever it takes (ethically, of course) to achieve sales success. For the record, I believe that this particular finding is 100% accurate.

One such example of this occurred last fall, when after a sales force evaluation, one rep’s results showed that she lacked commitment. Their sales manager spoke with her and was cautious, but optimistic that she was committed. A month or so later, he spoke with her a second time, pointed out a few concerns of his, and after listening to her responses, came away from the meeting feeling more optimistic, but still cautious.

Today the sales manager – a terrific guy and very effective sales manager – sent me a note saying that this rep is getting married and leaving the company and sales to spend more time working in her church ministry.

Sometimes, it takes several months to see what we only can measure, but it always shows up sooner or later.

That’s the danger in moving forward with salespeople who lack commitment. The proof might not be as dramatic as in the example above, but there will always be proof, like:

  • lack of improvement from training,
  • lack of improvement from coaching,
  • inability to change their thinking,
  • inability to change their behaviors,
  • inability to embrace a new sales process,
  • inability to embrace a new sales methodology,
  • inability to embrace a company’s new policies,
  • inability to become engaged in a company’s new culture, and/or
  • many more.

It’s one thing to learn that one of your existing salespeople is not committed to their own sales success. It’s another to learn that a sales candidate lacks commitment. Why would anyone fight that finding? You’re not invested in that candidate and there are other qualified candidates out there; so why would any manager insist on hiring someone with a lack of commitment to sales success?

The simple answer is that employers fall in love – not in a romantic way as much as a hopeful way – with the wrong candidates all the time. Sometimes they fall in love because of their:

  • personality,
  • energy,
  • experience,
  • expertise,
  • sense of humor,
  • book of business,
  • previous employers, and/or
  • good looks.

Whatever the reason, if they lack Commitment to sales success, they should not, under any circumstances, consider that candidate for a sales position at their company. Unless of course you like wasting time and starting over.

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