The Upper Management Eclipse
It is common these days to see sales management executives concerned primarily with the appearance of their performance, instead of the efficacy of it. Many times, these sales managers focus more on what will make them look good to their direct reports instead of focusing on how their company can do good for their most important investors – their customers.
Often times, organizations get stuck doing the same thing over and over again but in today’s economic climate that just doesn’t cut it. Listen to your sales leaders – they have the direct knowledge of how your company is perceived by those who truly matter most. If you want to know where to invest in your offering, if you want to know which initiatives to pursue, and if you want to know how you’re really doing as a company, just ask your top sales performers. Better than any crystal ball is the insight of those who’s very living depends upon living up to their word. When their word depends upon the performance of others, salespeople get understandably sensitive when other people don’t live up to their end of the bargain. In every salesperson’s job description, right along with new business development goals, there should be a section that clearly appoints them and explicitly charges them with the task of holding their own organization accountable to deliver on its promises.
No one else has this depth of insight and clarity of vision into the things that make or break sales effectiveness. No other department has this level of motivation to get and keep customers. We all know that effective sales are the lifeblood of any organization. Even if your salespeople are telling you things you don’t want to hear, and even if you have some serious doubts about their motivation for doing so, try to glean some thread of truth from the things that they are saying. It just might be that you will find that the words and thoughts of your sales stars are truly prophetic and might help you avoid fiscal catastrophe. My recommendation is, if you currently do not have a forum to share brutally honest feedback, put it at the top of your to do list; you will thank me later.
Obviously, this type of ‘voice of sales/voice of prospect’ forum must not be allowed to supplant selling activity, but if you hire the right people, this will not be an issue.