I was on the phone to one of my clients this week.
She was reporting back on some dynamics going on in her company.
In short, the Sales Team were under the pump, getting heat from the Sales Manager to achieve Stretch Sales Targets.
They were not happy.
Instead of talking about it with the Sales Manager, they were going straight to the GM.
Sounds fair enough..
Where there’s a Crack in the Chain of Command…
Problem was, not only was the GM listening to them, she was taking sides with them and consciously or subconsciously leaking out her doubts, thoughts, concerns about the Sales Manager to the Sales Team instead of talking directly to the Sales Manager.
The Sales Team started second guessing and doubting their Sales Manager.
In other words, there was a breakdown in the Chain of Command.
In the Military, the Chain of Command must be followed.
If there is a breakdown in the integrity of that Chain of Command, when the pressure is on, people don’t do what they need to do..
‘Why follow the bosses orders? His boss reckons he’s a bit of a goose.. .Why should we listen to him when he says go over the top and put ourselves on the line? We’ll wait for an order we like before we move..’
As I said to the client, ‘Sales and Business Development Teams are a bit different than Admin or Accounts Teams (all due respect to you in Admin and Accounts but the world’s are a bit different).
In Sales you are asking people to get on the phone, speak to strangers, go out on appointments and face NO’s, rejections, stalls, lies, deceit and all types of weird, spirit battering situations.. ‘
‘In many ways it’s like asking soldiers to get out of their trenches, go over the top and run toward bullets coming back at them…’
‘Not everyone is welcoming Sales people, especially prospectors and business developers, with open arms.’
(Of course if your marketing is magnetic, powerful, compelling and strategic, you won’t have the same problems. The SMART Marketer is using powerful EMOTIONAL DIRECT RESPONSE POSITIONING. In reality, from my observations over 30 years, less than one in ten companies are doing that well.)
Anyway, the positives out of this company is that the GM and the Sales Manager have sorted this out and the GM has tightened up the Chain of Command, supporting her Sales Manager, re-communicated and got agreement with the Sales Team how the communication and what the expectations are.
1. Make sure everyone knows what the Chain of Command is
2. Make sure they know who to communicate to and sort out problems with FIRST
3. Have a process for how problems and issues are sorted out
4. Train your Sales Team in how to prospect, how to meet clients and discover needs, how to present your product and service in the most compelling and powerful way
5. Regularly run Sales Breakthrough Mastermind sessions with your Sales Team where they learn from and share with each other
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN IN DOME COFFEE
PS: It reminds me of a chat I had in the Dome Coffee Cafe in Leederville with a young guy who did work experience with us a few years ago.
He is doing a PHD at the Uni in an area that could have great commercial value.
The problem is, in 8 years of University Education, not one day has been spent on how to take all his knowledge and actually market or make a living from it..
(I find it absolutely disgusting and reprehensible that someone can do 8 years of study and not be given any coaching, advice, teaching on how to convert that knowledge to revenue…I think it is completely negligent of those lecturers who make their money off these innocent students.
It’s like someone teaching you the theory of drinking water, the history of drinking water, the chemistry of water, but never showing you where the water is to go and drink…)
Anyway, he and I (in the coffee shop) real play-role played and brainstormed how he could take his fantastic knowledge and make great money (and help way more people) with it.
We real play-role played out how he should take interested prospects on a journey where they sell themselves on why they should engage him (not for one session but for 6 or more months).
I just loved seeing his eyes light up with new possibilities.
We had the same situation when I real play-role played out a major Recruiting bid with one of my Recruiting Clients last week too.
They rang me the day after to say they had won the bid (at a higher margin and fee than their competition).
Because they were able to articulate better and higher value (better and higher than their competition)
Yippee.. I got a huge kick out of that..
I suppose that’s why I’m still doing this work after almost 30 years.
1. Make sure you have the systems, strategies and skills to turn your knowledge and expertise into great revenue streams.
2. Real play-role play out the tough sales and business development scenarios regularly.
Anyway – time to go.
Hope this helps.
Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers.
Have a good week.