During dinner I ask my children the same thing most every night-"share with Mom and me one thing you learned today". Most times I get the typical teen response of "I don't know", but when pushed I may get the latest algebraic equation, understand the latest Facebook trend, or learn how much our Yellow Labrador enjoys beef jerky. These daily lessons also help me hold myself accountable to improving as a father and professional.
As Sales Executives and Managers, we have a natural inclination to expect and push our producers to greater heights--to always sell more. Common sense says this can't be done without changing something. Producers need to look for new ways to prospect, better ways to understand the needs of the customer, more effective proposals and shorter sales cycles.
How about you, the Sales Executive and Manager? Research shows the biggest reason producers stay, quit or maximize production is due to the relationship with their Sales Manager. Are you a better leader and manager than you were yesterday? Last month? Last year? What have you done to improve your skills so you can better lead and manage your team?
I find it interesting that almost 100% of those in sales management believe the productivity of a sales team is in direct correlation to the leadership and management acumen of those in sales management. Yet, less than 10% of those questioned have programming in place to affect the leadership and management skills of their sales managers. I have my opinions as to "why", but it's tough to make business decisions based on just opinion. However, the "why" is not as significant as the "how".
The "how" revolves around culture, commitment and having a resource that does not make you chase professional development resources. Simply put, read an article, listen to a webinar, peruse the internet for tidbits, attend a sales management seminar, take a member of your team to lunch and don't talk business. Do something every week to improve the skills of your trade-sales leadership and management.
If your kids asked you the same question at dinner, how would you respond?