However, I am tremendously excited about being a sales professional and for the future of sales professionals. I think the dismal picture I’ve portrayed, also provides an opportunity for real progress and growth for sales professionals.
I think the problems and challenges provide the opportunity for true professionals and those that aspire to be professionals to separate themselves from the rest of people who peddle.
How do we improve, how do we focus on becoming truly effective and high performers? Where does the leadership responsibility lie? I believe each of us can take ownership in driving change.
To be honest—at least from an organizational point of view, I am tempted to point the finger at management—not just sales management, but corporate management. I do believe that poor leadership or no leadership is one of the key reasons sales (and organizations) perform at a far lower level than they could. I think leaders must set better personal examples, invest in getting things done through their people—which means coaching and developing them. I believe they must fight the systemic issues that block them from driving sustained performance improvement.
At the same time, only the top executives will be able to have any significant impact on the systemic issues. What does this mean for most of sales management? If I got my wish, I would hope that sales managers focus on three things: Doing their jobs as leader/coaches. There are coaching opportunities in every meeting—just the questions you ask have a tremendous impact your team.
I don’t believe change only comes from the top. I believe change comes from committed, passionate people at all levels of the organization.
Thanks for your patience in working your way through my diatribe. I have not hit all the issues, I think I may have a bit of a warped view on many issues. My greatest hope is not that you agree with my ideas, but that it stimulates a healthy discussion. Your discussion and comments will be better than my rambling posts! If I’m off base, please correct me.