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Surely the quality of who you hire is important. But is it the most important issue?
Consider this. Suppose you could waive a magic wand and replace your sales team with most talented, most aggressive salespeople in your industry. Would this solve your problems?
Maybe. Yet, there is a limit.
For one thing, it would do little or nothing to change the behaviors of the managers who work in the company. What if those managers believe focusing on results is what counts? That’s what managers in most companies think they should focus on. They care more about hitting their numbers than on improving how they hit their numbers.
What happens in this environment? It is inevitable. One of those bright new employees will have an idea. That idea will involve changing something that makes people uncomfortable. It will be ignored. Improvement will go underground. Why tell anyone their ideas if their managers don’t care about ideas, or experiments, or learning, or improving?
Worse, if it is a really good idea, it might be given to their peers. Their ideas can be used against them.
Now, candidate selection is given a lot of attention in sales organizations. So then, why does sales turnover remain chronically high? Why doesn’t sales productivity ever improve over all?
Sales turnover and productivity are symptoms of deeper issues. They are a sign salespeople have difficulty succeeding.
You can blame it on the salespeople, or you can get to work discovering the reasons your company is so hard to sell for.
What if your managers thought ideas, experiments, learning, and improving were important? What if they saw these as essential to making their numbers?
That answer is you’ll get improvement. In fact, you’ll get a lot better results than you ever thought possible.
That’s why the most important factor in your company’s sales success is not in who you hire. Instead, it is between the ears of your management team. It is in their assumptions, and in how they think.
Smart management teams build organizations that can succeed with average salespeople. They don't depend on anything as fickle as sales superstars.
What do YOU think?