In his book, The Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki said, "Don't Worry, Be Crappy."
That advice suggested that companies just get their early versions of software and tech products out there and they could make them better later.
How are early versions of technology different from crappy salespeople and crappy sales managers? For one thing, salespeople and sales managers tend to stay crappy unless professional training, coaching and interventions occur. And unlike products, user feedback tends to be sketchy when it comes to salespeople because they refrain from giving it. But what would happen if they did?
Prospects care about two things. Are the salespeople calling on them likable and do they bring value? Read that correctly. I didn't type that they can recite the unique value proposition or talk about value. I wrote that they actually bring value. More specifically, strong, effective salespeople must be the value. While it's great when salespeople receive product training to become more knowledgeable, they shouldn't be sharing their product knowledge on sales calls. It's redundant because prospects and customers can find that information with 2 clicks on Google so they don't need to hear the same thing from salespeople.
Most salespeople are crappy and I'll share 3 statistics to help you understand just how crappy they are. Objective Management Group (OMG) has data on salespeople that have been assessed and evaluated. In the next 3 graphics I will share the Sales Quotient (the overall score for the 21 Sales Core Competencies that OMG measures) in 3 categories. The sample size for this particular statistic is arond 417,000+ salespeople.
This first graphic below shows the average Sales Quotient for all salespeople. The average score is 116.
The next graphic below shows the avarage Sales Quotient for elite salespeople who have a Sales Quotient of better than 140. Only 6% of all salespeople are represented here. Their average score is 144.
The final graphic below shows the average Sales Quotient for weak salespeople who have a Sales Quotient below 115. Amazingly, 46% of all salespeople are represented in the weak group. Their average score is just 103.
Watch this 1-minute video for some thoughts on what you can work on first.
Kurt Mortensen interviewed me for his sales podcast and you might find this 15-minute interview on sales process helpful. As we approach year-end and my article in the December issue of Top Sales Magazine has a number of things that salespeople can work on in December to improve.
It's a different story altogether with sales managers. Their salespeople need to be coached every day. And it needs to be the kind of coaching that makes their salespeople want to come back for more. Providing technical help, pricing, or discounts is not coaching. Telling salespeople what to do is not coaching either.
Salespeople and sales managers can be trained but I can tell you this. It's a lot easier to train crappy salespeople than it is to train crappy sales managers. Selling is difficult but effective coaching brings difficult to a whole new level.
I've written a lot of articles on coaching salespeople and you can find 30 articles right here. You can also register early to attend my annual Sales Leadership Intensive that is coming up in May. It's simply the best training on how to master the art of coaching salespeople.
So don't worry if you're crappy - just do something to make yourself better and then instead of crappy you'll be happy.
Image copyright iStock Photos