Sales Force Evaluation - How to Deal with Push Back from your Employees

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Feb 27, 2008 @ 22:02 PM

Push back is what your salespeople give you when they receive the results of their evaluation.  Push back is what you get from your sales managers when they get the results of the evaluation of their sales force.  I've written about push back before but I need to explain why you get push back.

In the case of the sales force evaluation, push back measures the gap between the ideal and where your salespeople and sales managers are today.  In other words, the further they are from where you need them to be, the more push back you'll get.  They say they don't agree with the findings or they tell you that the findings are inaccurate.  What they really mean is that they don't want to make the change from where they are today - comfortable - to where you need them to be - highly competent.

Then comes your reaction to the push back.  There are several ways in which you could give in to the push back:

  1. by validating it
  2. by agreeing with it
  3. by joining in
  4. by getting defensive
  5. by assuring them
  6. by telling them not to worry
  7. by canceling your plan to continue the project
  8. by questioning your decision to start the project
  9. by avoiding confrontation
  10. by not following through on what you started

If you do any of these things you will undermine your authority and fail to accomplish the changes in culture, competency, growth and effectiveness that you set out to change.  Your ability to stand up to push back is the measure of how effective you are at leadership.

So what should you do when you get push back?

Expect it, don't panic, understand where it's coming from and say things like, "it's not unusual to feel that way, but certainly there's some truth to what you read.  Let's focus on what you agree with."  Make it clear that while they may not like what they read, it's important to embrace it because we are moving forward and making changes.

Do you want your decision to start the process to be looked upon as a good decision?  Finish what you started!

(c) 2008 Dave Kurlan


Topics: coaching, accountability, assessment

Subscribe via Email

View All 1,800 Articles

About Dave

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.

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile


Receive new articles via email
 to the Blog on your Kindle 



Most Recent Articles


Vendor Neutral Certified 100 SalesTech Vendor Objective Management Group

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee


Leaading Sales Consultants 2018

9 Consecutive Years!

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Article/Post -  Silver

9 Consecutive Years!

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 -  Bronze - Thought Leader

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Podcast - Gold

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Webinar - Gold

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 - Bronze - eBook/White Paper

Dave Kurlan Top 50 Sales Influencer 2015

Sales Pro Insider Blog

Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers



Hubspot Top 25 Blogs


Free Tools

Sales Process Grader

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Sales Ghost Calculator

Sales Force Grader

Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator

FREE Recruiting Process Grader