Making it Easy for Salespeople to Succeed

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Sun, Nov 05, 2006 @ 22:11 PM

Our four-year old son asked me to play baseball with him today, a beautiful, calm, but chilly fall day.  He couldn't find the oversized whiffle ball that I used to pitch to him all summer so we used a significantly smaller, regulation size rubber ball.  I told him it might take a little while to get used to the smaller ball and he would have to watch it very closely.

He swung, connected and clobbered the first 4 pitches I threw, hitting them farther than ever.  He was more effective with the more difficult smaller ball.  Wow!

Let's make this a Baseline Selling story.

When salespeople are struggling, management often changes the strategy in an attempt to make it easier on the salesperson.  I'm guilty of having tried and failed at this strategy too.  Let's have him call on smaller companies.  Let's have her call lower in the organization.  Let's have him sell something smaller to begin with.  Let's give her the flexibility to sell it at whatever price she needs.  You already know that these strategies don't work.

Why not give your salespeople a smaller ball?  Make it more difficult.  Increase the expectations.  Demand more.  Raise the price.  Aim higher in the organization.  This serves to improve their focus, understand that their job is on the line and get the job done where they were unable to before.

Play small ball.

© Copyright 2006 Objective Management Group, Inc.

Topics: coaching

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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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