I was coaching a sales manager whose reps were all under performing, even though many of them have a history of achieving and over achieving during less difficult times. Many salespeople with prior success have been struggling to match their past performances. The truth is that most of them just aren't good enough to overcome the resistance that they face right now. The question is, what percentage of those struggles are due to the ineffectiveness of the salespeople and what portion lies with the ineffectiveness of their sales manager?
The sales manager I coached had some very human needs. When he connected with his salespeople, they shared details of their lives, plans for their weekends and he felt loved. When salespeople praised his coaching or said that his advice helped them on a sales call, he felt respected. And when he assured the higher-ups that good things were happening, he truely believed that business was on the way.
Unfortunately, the sales manager measured the success of his salespeople using two irrelevant values - love and respect - rather than the more important metrics or KPI's - performance indicators - that most of us use.
The relationship is important. Their respect is important. Performance is important too.
Measure the performance by the numbers. Use the relationship and the respect you have earned to improve it.
(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan