Give Sales People A Sword

Let your sales people live by the sword or die by the sword.

Far too often I hear stories of sales organizations where management doesn’t let the sales person do their job.  They tell sales what to do, when to do it, how to do it and how often to do it.  They make the team report on what they’ve been told to do.  They create measurements and reporting on doing stuff. Telling people how to do their job is micromanagement. I’m not a fan of micromanagement. The only thing leadership should be doing is setting delivery goals, and providing the support needed to make the goals.   Same goes for sales management from the executives.  If it doesn’t cost money.  If it doesn’t tax other company resources.  If it isn’t in conflict with company policy then the sales person should have complete reign and autonomy for the decisions they believe will help them make their number.

How to know if you haven’t given your team their sword:

  1. You measure number of calls
  2. You measure number of closed deals
  3. You measure number of appointments set
  4. You track sales peoples time in the office
  5. The sales process includes non selling activities
  6. Your CRM system is used to measure sales activity
  7. The sales leader(s) can’t implement their own strategies or plans
  8. There is no formal sales strategy development or planning process in place
  9. There is only one way to sell in the organization
  10. Everyone is doing the same thing, the same way

Sales is NOT manufacturing. Implementing a rote sales process and execution environment reduces the probability of success, not improves it. Sales people are wildly creative and the best sales teams are built in a way that allows each and every sales person to make quota their way. Sales people are CEO’s of their own businesses and should be treated that way; fired when they don’t perform and rewarded when they do. They shouldn’t be micromanaged.

Trying to reign sales people in because you think you know better is foolish . . . you don’t.


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