One of the most critical decisions a company will make is the hiring of the right sales leader. However, many business owners and executives make the all too common mistake of restricting their search to those with industry experience. There is a feeling that the sales manager must come from their industry as that is the only way they will be successful in the role. Many put that element of their criteria at the top of their decision list. “The successful applicant will have 10 years experience in the widget industry.” Hogwash!
Sales managers are tasked with the daunting challenge of leading their sales teams during turbulent times.As a sales manager, for years, you’ve had Human Resources preaching to you about the importance of work-life balance for your sales team. They reminded you that studies showed that productivity increased when employees had balance between their work life and their personal one. They told you that the team needed time to recharge their batteries so they could sell more for the company.
There is an old saying that goes: There is no such thing as an old joke, just old people. Meaning no matter how old you are the first time you hear a joke it is new to you, no matter how long it has been out there. Which explains why I am going to sound a bit old in this piece, which is alright, because I will be talking about all the “NEW” out there that sellers are being told (sold) they should be consuming if they want to succeed. I don’t have an issue with things that are really new, but when it comes to selling, “NEW” is more often than not, the “same old”, with at best new wrapping.
Talk to any ‘executoide’, and KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are bound to be part of the conversation. Nice and practical concept, good resume fodder, often misused or abused by many, especially from a sales point of view. I often get the sense that many see KPI standing for Key Political Initiatives or Key (to my) Personal Incentive.