The last three years have been the most difficult for business in decades. CEO’s have struggled to control costs and maintain their workforce. The economic news continues to be bad and the prognosticators are talking about a double dip recession. While the collective bunker mentality has improved, many sales organizations have widespread Outlook and Excuse Making problems that effect performance.
This raises an important question. Are you truly growth focused and how has yoursales force adapted to the current selling environment?
Prior to 2008 salespeople focused their value proposition on growth, post 2008 they emphasized cost reduction and ROI. Despite the economic problems CEO’s now recognize that cost containment is no longer a viable mid-term strategy. Cost management is critical but it’s not enough anymore.
Being growth focused in the aftermath of the last three years required a new level of commitment to your sales force. This means time, energy, money, change, risk and unwavering desire. For many of you it’s easier and more natural to consolidate cost and streamline operations than to address the thorny people issues required when creating a world-class sales force.
Are you frustrated with your sales organization? Are you willing to invest as much of your time and energy into your salespeople and sales managers as you have to operations or finance?
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself. I’m hoping the answers uncover your frustrations and serve as a call to action.
- Are at least 50% of your salespeople consistently hitting the sales numbers?
- Is excuse making and rationalizing negatively affecting your sales force?
- Do the sales managers spend 80% of their time developing their salespeople?
- Are your sales managers highly effective?
- Can a great enough percentage of your sales force prospect effectively?
- Do you consistently sell at the margins required?
Have you personally made sales excellence a very high priority?