How Much Crap Do You Put Up With From Your Sales Force?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 @ 08:01 AM

crapAs much as this title resonates for most of you, your salespeople will probably ask, "Are you kidding me? It should say, 'How much crap do we have to put up with from Management'?"

Everything you ask for, demand, and expect; everybody you direct, coach and hold accountable; every comment, suggestion, correction and criticism - Your salespeople simply don't receive your communications in the same spirit you intended.  They think it's crap!  You're either being unfair, hyper critical, too negative, or selfish.  Perhaps you aren't handling your messages as effectively as you could.  Perhaps you are.  It's probably somewhere in the middle.  There are three important considerations though:

  1. Continue directing, demanding, expecting, coaching, commenting, suggesting, correcting, criticizing and holding your salespeople accountable.  You may not have the best style and they may not like it, but the results will still be better than if you stopped or ignored them.  Just continue to improve your timing and your style.
  2. After you give your salespeople input, their reactions are what you consider to be crap.  So crap flows both ways. 
  3. When someone can't stand the crap anymore, there will be movement.  They will leave, you will terminate them, or you will leave (if you don't own the company).

I have another rule about crap, although this one is more anecdotal than scientific.  You will get the most crap (as a reaction to what they perceive as crap) from the salespeople at the opposite ends of the performance spectrum while the salespeople in the middle tend to perceive, and thus return, far less crap.

What are your experiences with sales force crap?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, shithead salespeople, shithead sales managers

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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