Most business owners have a complaint or two about their sales function. However, we need to break business owners into two groups, those who are salesy and those who are not. The salesy group tends to be more patient with the sales team because they are wired similarly to the sales team. That doesn’t mean sales isn’t a PIA; it just means it’s a more tolerable PIA.
The other group of owners is not wired like a salesperson, so many of the sales team’s behaviors are frustrating and hard to understand. If you are one of these types of business owners, you are operating at a handicap. Your personal bias is potentially leading you down a path damaging your top line. Let me give you an example.
A client in the vending business had the good fortune of inheriting a superstar salesperson that did not drive him crazy. The owner was the type of person you would expect who had a law degree and a CPA, not particularly “salesy.” When the sales superstar got recruited away, he struggled to find an equivalent replacement. I was sitting in his office one Friday afternoon when he said,
“I really think this new salesperson is going to work out. He’s in there now filling out all of his weekly reports, and all of his contacts are in CRM.”
I immediately and instinctively blurted out, “Fire him immediately.”
He did not fire the salesperson immediately, but he should’ve followed my advice even if it was a Tourettes moment. Instead, he let the salesperson flounder for six months while watching competitors gain ground on him… and paid for the privilege.
The odds of a great salesperson being a PIA are outstanding. It seems they are inseparable traits. I don’t know that there’s one reason for this, but I had to guess; I’d say that the best salespeople are not compliant… with you or a tough prospect. That lack of compliance drives you nuts, but it helps them close deals others can’t. You simply have to pick your poison.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if a salesperson is just being a PIA or they are a sales rockstar behaving like one. If you’d like help figuring out which is which, let’s talk.