It was the 3rd Monday of October and the monthly sales meeting for In-Tech in Orange County California was just getting started. The sales manager Amanda Klein was in charge, there were 6 sales reps present in person and 6 more that checked in remotely.The 90 inch HDTV screen artfully positioned on the wall showed each of them, as well as the camera view of the conference room… the impressive technology was functioning flawlessly under the watchful eye of Justin Smith the IT technician.
Besides the multitude of images there was a section on the massive screen that had the power point agenda ready to roll.
All was normal aside from the presence of John D Hardy the CEO who made no pretense that he was loaded for bear and was not a happy camper!
Katie Mc Neil was first up from Denver to give the allotted 3-5 minutes on progress of the 3 targeted “A” prospects she was working on. She succinctly stated the decision maker for the first prospect was traveling thus no progress, the second target balked at the price and she was unable after leaving numerous emails and voice mails to get an appointment with number 3.
This was followed by Ben Janaki from Chicago who complained about internal problems getting quotes out as the total reason for not making progress with his three top prospects.
In quick succession 7 more reps noted similar reasons most if not all were duly chronical in past meetings as justifiable reasons for not moving prospects into the closed column.
Amada tried clandestinely to check her CEO’s reaction, however he was staring at her with unmistakable dissatisfaction …the train wreck was about to happen!
John stood, the IT tech changed the camera angle to catch the full image of the CEO as he spoke with sharp, precise, and unbridled emotion. “I have heard this all before, the same excuses, the same lack of progress, the same poor performance. This sales team has exactly 6 months to turn things around, that means bringing on new customers through the targets that we all agreed on a year ago.” He paused then turned to Amanda and said, “I’ll see you in my office when this meeting is over!”, then without another word abruptly left the conference room.
Amanda had been the best sales rep for the past 5 years and was promoted last year to the VP of sales position. She never dreamed it would be like this, she pondered, why couldn’t her team sell like she did?
Everyone knew the team needed to bring on more revenue and penetrate the target accounts but results were simply not there.
This real situation happens every day with sales teams around the globe. What are the reasons? What is the solution?
The short yet profound answer is the lack of planning, training, tracking and managing the four pillars of successful sales organizations.
Getting senior management, sales management and the sales team all on the same page with a practical means to track accountability, coupled with appropriate training, and day to day coaching is a formula for success.
Using outside resources to help implement a new way of managing a sales organization is often the most cost effective and efficient method to bring about needed change.
Sales organization’s that commit to these four critical components consistently outperform those who simply give lip service to them.
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