I read this recent article from the Harvard Business Review Blog about CEO's and the need for them to get serious about Sales. Then there was this question from Focus.com wanting to know how to deal with a negative sales rep.
The article and the question are both quite benign. My frustration is with the comments, where both the best and worst that social media has to offer grows. Everyone becomes Rush Limbaugh - an expert in their own opinions - and many of those opinions are flat out wrong. It's not just with the two examples above, it's with nearly every question that gets asked on LinkedIn.com, Focus.com, Task.fm, and other sites where, in many cases, the subject matter experts are the ones initiating the questions just to call attention to themselves. And when sales leaders initiate the questions, how do they differentiate best practices from stupid practices?
The problem is that they can't! If they knew the best approach, they wouldn't ask the question in the first place. And because they don't know the best approach, they align themselves with the answer that makes them feel the most comfortable - not necessarily the answer that provides the best results.
Experts don't always agree on best practices for the sales force. Some don't have best practice success in multiple industries/markets. Others lack expertise in all discliplines of optimizing a sales force. Others are one-trick ponies - their expertise is limited to a single discipline. Other experts are laid-off or retired sales & marketing executives. To whom should you listen? Whose Blog should you read? Whom should you believe? Whom should you hire to help?
There are so many sites to visit for content. I suggest that you use those sites as a means to identify experts who make you think, consistently provide good, solid, relevant, applicable, advice, and then follow them on their own blogs.
When it comes to Sales Leadership Best Practices, here are two opportunities which could help:
I presented the 5 Sales Management Best Practices for this Sales & Marketing Management Webinar. Click here to view/listen to the archive.
If you want something a more comprehensive than a one-hour Webinar, join me in October for my renowned Sales Leadership Intensive - two days of comprehensive, interactive, entertaining, applicable, non-stop, unforgettable leadership training. Click here to learn more and if you would like to attend, email me directly and I'll get you special pricing.