Don't Fire Your Sales Manager
They say the hardest job in baseball is the catcher position...he's gotta set the defense, catch the curveball, throw runners out, and block the plate. He gets nicked and dinged with 100mph baseballs; and bats sometimes bong against his melon! Further, he does all this while crouching for incredibly long periods of time.
Today's digital sales manager is the "catcher" of our industry...minus the crouching. And this poor guy (gal) is getting absolutely abuuuused lately; clients, reps, senior executives are all banging hard on this guy like he's impenetrable. When your catcher gets beat-up, chaos ensues: everything's unsettled and everyone's uneasy.
Whether you're a sales executive, or work in a revenue-supporting role...or you're the one with achy knees behind the plate, there is a plan of action that you can take today. (Or, chaos is your thing!)
In a recent poll of (52) sales managers...only 11% had successfully "turned around" a rep who had been placed on a PIP (performance improvement plan). Ouch!
In a recent poll I conducted of (52) sales managers averaging up to ten years of sales management service, only 11% had successfully “turned around” a rep who had been placed on a PIP (performance improvement plan). I cringed when I saw the results of the survey and felt badly for all involved. Heck, you’re probably witnessing one of these situations right now as there’s always someone in the sales ranks who is struggling. But that alarmingly low “reform rate” shouldn’t be viewed as a total indictment against the rep or the manager; I feel it’s representative of a wholesale breakdown within the business operation of our digital media/ad tech industry.
Senior leadership has an obligation to support sales management in their job of developing talent on the sales ranks. Gone are the days when executives can crack the whip on sales management yelling, “MORE, MORE, MORE”. That just isn’t a working formula anymore given the immense complexities of our business. But it’s not only on company executives to help, everyone must pitch in and understand that a finely run sales operation requires tons of collaboration, support and training.
This issue shouldn’t be viewed as a small needle in our industry’s haystack; it’s a very big problem because many sales operations are operating in a highly dysfunctional mode right now. I know, I see it all the time.
There are a lot of complicit characters in this movie, but fortunately there is a fix…
The pressure inside our respective companies has never been higher and it will continue to be intense. But firing people is not the answer – after all, recruiting, on-boarding and training is a long and expensive process. Get closer to the problems and together we may see that 11% “reform rate” grow higher and higher!
Presenting fish, value props, or decks...all the same.
How goes your "atta-boy"?
Face it, you're no good at prospecting
Make the problem go away!
Johnny can't sell, FIRE his A$$.
Managing your ugly ducklings.
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