Sales Leaders – When times are tough, sales numbers aren’t being made and the outlook is bleak, stop telling everyone what to do. Stop yelling!
As sales leaders, we are notorious for demanding our sales people hit their numbers, threatening job losses for those who can’t get with the program. I’ve never understood why, it rarely works. When times are tough across your organization it’s no longer about the sales team. It’s about your sales leadership. Sales teams don’t fall apart all at once because everyone simultaneously decided to take break and ride the gravy train. When your organizations numbers are categorically down there is something seriously wrong that needs to be fixed and demanding the numbers are met or else, aint gonna fix it.
When the numbers aren’t there it’s time to be a leader. It’s time to start listening. It’s time to start assessing. It’s time to determine how to turn it around and fast and yelling isn’t the answer.
“The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the
day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost
confidence that you can help them or concluded that you
do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” – Colin Powell
“The commander in the field is always right and the
rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.” – Colin Powell
To turn things around, turn to your team. Meet with your traditional top performers. Get there insight on what is behind the decline. Meet with your top customers. Ask them their thoughts and why they are spending less. Find out what it would take to get them buying again. Engage your customers who have maintained or increased their spend. Find out what makes them different? Get to the root of the problem or problems. Triage the situation and then fix it. That is your job. If you can’t fix it then you know for sure your sales team can’t fix it.
Remember, when sales are up it’s because of your sales team. When sales are down, it’s because of you . . . so stop yelling.