Roughly every third week I have been blogging about what I am hearing from sales leaders across the Country and today that steak continues. Ask yourself the following question; would you rather grow at 10% or 20% this year? Ok, that answer is obvious so let’s take that question a step further. What if in order to grow at 20% this year you had to put a guaranteed 10% yearly growth at risk? Would you still opt to shoot for the 20% or would you be content to settle for the 10% growth knowing that you were not maximizing your team’s performance. I pose this question as hypothetical, but the reality is that this is a real question that sales leaders are asking themselves every day. Finding the answer is causing an inner struggle that taking place in the pits of countless executive sales managers’ stomachs on a daily basis.
Here is the challenge that is taking place. Most sales organizations across the board have done a decent job of bringing a good deal of order to their sales team, especially at the sales rep level. Most sales managers can recite with pretty decent accuracy the actions and high payoff activities that their reps need to execute against in order to hit a projected level of growth - say 10%. So, executive sales leaders know that if they can have their frontline sales managers simply hold their producers accountable to a certain level of activity they should be able to stay the course and achieve their growth targets. On the surface this is great news right? It is, however most executive sales leaders know that if their frontline managers were able to more effectively coach, lead, and engage their teams that they could achieve even higher levels of performance than say simply reporting on the numbers, helping them reactively solve problems, making sure compliance is in order, and maybe worst of all being super sales people – more aptly put they doing all the fishing and never teach the reps how to fish.