My comments today continue from yesterday’s post, so if you missed it, do please scroll down to update yourself.
One of the points I made yesterday was that in my experience, in the critical area of sales team development, most H.R. departments are about as useful as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. Harsh words? I don’t think so.
I really do strongly believe that they should stick to what they are good at, like looking after employee welfare; ensuring that the company adheres to the maze which is today’s employment laws, and spending as much time as possible at conferences and on training courses, to add another qualification to their CV. Not in your company? You are very lucky!
Going back to my examination of why so many salespeople are failing today, you see, unlike most other professions, there are no qualifications required to become a professional salesman or woman: I find that very disappointing, and I am also deeply concerned that even the super-rich corporations who used to put their latest intakes on a solid two year program before letting them loose on an unsuspecting audience, now believe that around two weeks of product training is quite sufficient.
Why the change? In a word, “cost” Since the financial meltdown that began almost five years ago, investors have been crawling all over balance sheets, and any investment in staff developmentÂ always appears as cost â” for which there is never any tangible evidence of a return.
Whereas replacing non-performing heads is always seen as an unavoidable investment. This in turn has led to a new “hire and fire” mentality, which actually is incredibly short-sighted, and usually proves far more costly. It is a total cop-out, and simply highlights the fact that so many poor hiring decisions have been made in the first place.
Make no mistake, as a sales leader, when one of our team fails, we fail.
The real answer, as I alluded to yesterday, is the decline in the quality of sales leadership. This is a role which is now pivotal in every organization, whatever the size: I liken their importance to that of the QB on a football team â” yes, that important. Which is why it is alarming to note that the average tenure of a sales manager today is just eighteen months.
Today, I read the transcript of an interview Linda Richardson has just conducted with Dave Kurlan of Objective Management Group â” the world’s leading authority on sales team and sales leadership assessments. Dave’s comments were damning, and you’ll have the opportunity to read the entire interview when July’s Top Sales magazine is published next week.
So are there any companies out there still willing to invest to accumulate?
Very much so; those companies who have implemented their own “academies” â” including most of my clients â” are reaping rich rewards. Turnover has been reduced to virtually nil; teams are happy, and feel valued; staff typically work longer hours, but are also working smarter, and they are totally committed.
None of that should come as a surprise to any of us. When a company demonstrates its commitment to its employees by investing back into them, those employees are anxious to repay that faith â” it is a “no-brainer” and definitely “win-win”
How about you, are you really valued by your company? Or are you one of the at least 80% of sales professionals who remain unqualified to do your job properly?
News: I do hope you have a great w/e: I want to find the motivation to write about the latest “Libor”Â banking scandal in the UK, which has followed the News Corp press scandal, which followed the British MP’s expenses scandal. Frankly, I am just staggered by it all, and actually quite depressed â” which is not like me at all. But when I view the evident corruption which is unfolding in front of me day by day, I do feel like a “glass-half-empty” personality.
When I was growing up, my parents took great pride in introducing me to their friends; the bank manager, the estate agent, and even the local MP. These were pillars of our society; we went to them to counter-sign and endorse our passport applications, and driving-license forms. Today, we no longer know who we can trust. It seems that everyone is trying to deceive us in some way or other, and we are all spending so much time trying to figure out who the good guys are â” if indeed there areÂ any, anymore.
I am reminded of a quote from Drucker… “The most effective way to manage change is to create it” So, rather than sitting around, I am going to close my personal account with Barclays tomorrow, and I am also going to close the company’s accounts. It is one small gesture, but I doubt I will be ploughing this particular furrow alone.
Bon weekend a tous!
Source: Jonathan Farrington’s Blog