Managers: think of the ads you’ve placed in the past year, searching for your next big revenue generator in the form of a seller, business development executive, or sales leader. Did the job description you advertised include lines like these?
“A self-starter that won’t take no for an answer”
“Seeking a self-motivated responsible overachiever to develop and close opportunities”
This one’s my favorite: “An individual with a strong bias for action and the fortitude to challenge the status quo with a results oriented sense of urgency”
The challenge with asking for people like this is that these types are not only that way externally; they’re that way at their very core. This type of high-performing seller will absolutely push their management, support and implementation teams – they will push anywhere in the company they need to – in order to maximize their opportunity to perform.
My recommendation before you ask for a driven sales leader is to make sure you have a team that is capable of working at the pace, volume, and level that the sales team you want to build will perform at.
In many of the organizations I have consulted with, I have seen these very types of sellers – the types requested in the job posting – be regarded as troublemakers and called too pushy, leading them to become withdrawn and underperform because the internal hurdles suck the drive and energy out of them.
Remember, for a sales leader to be successful they must be in an environment or organization designed for success. So if your organization is underperforming, look not only at the sales team, but also at everything they touch and all those who support the process.
One sure way for me to tell how an organization is doing (outside of revenues, leads- to-close ratios, etc.) is to see how many of the support team members have made the leap to sales and been successful. If the answer is zero, it’s because either the company is not promoting from within, or the support team is not as driven as the people they are supporting.
Build a strong foundation for your organization and hire across the board for success.