Sales Leadership: 7 Lies Your Sales Staff Tells That Will Get You Fired!

The Point: Oh the joys of Sales Leadership… Typically, successful salesperson today becomes sales leader tomorrow. But are those successful salespeople the best candidates for sales leadership? And if they become sales leaders, are successful salespeople going to be able to work successfully with previous coworkers and new hires? In this post, we examine the ugly side of sales leadership: Lying! We’ll explore 7 lies your sales staff tells that will get you fired… Enjoy!

Sales Leadership: 7 Lies Your Sales Staff Tells That Will Get You Fired!

This is Nothing More Than Glorified Babysitting!

Meet Jane, Chief Sales Officer at an INC 5000 company. Jane’s been around since the organization formed and helped shape not only the many offerings that have been brought to market, but also the sales process/methodology currently in place (The company recently cracked the $100M Annual Sales level!) All should be good in Jane’s world, but it’s not… You see when the sales / business development department numbered 10 or less, Jane was able to effectively lead the team forward. However, now that the team borders on 25, she is finding her daily/weekly/monthly tasks of leader the team forward not as productive. “This is nothing more than glorified babysitting” Jane shared on a recent visit. At the heart of this glorified babysitting was the sales staff’s inability to NOT act like sales professionals and to act like little kids. “I understand not being able to achieve stretch goals… We establish them to drive the organization to stretch. But what I don’t understand is the lying that the sales staff members retort to when they can’t achieve stretch goals!” Sad to report that a brief 4-months after this conversation Jane was let go… let go by the organization that she helped found!

The 7 Lies Your Sales Staff Tells That Will Get You Fired!

Word to the wise Chief Sales Officer, Chief Revenue Officer, Chief Rain Maker, etc… If your sales staff is not producing so as to achieve stretch goals, you are probably in career double jeopardy! So herein are the 7 lies your sales staff tells that will get you fired:

Lie #7 – “Budget is NOT an Issue with This Customer”

Budget is always an issue… with each and every customer you strategically sell with! Salespeople that use this lie are not only lying to you, they’re lying to themselves!

Lie #6 – “I Don’t Need to Write My Goals Down… I Have Them Memorized”

If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist… and if it doesn’t exist, then you’re probably going to have a hard time achieving it! I know that every dog has it’s day, and that a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile, but even those that claim to be “that good” still can’t remember in sales.

Lie #5 – “I made 100 Cold Calls Today”

Sales funnels work best (i.e., result in sales) when there are prospective customers dropped into the top. Now a salesperson whose sales funnel is examined and identified that there are no prospective customers close to the bottom of the sales funnel have a difficult time explaining how their actions have resulted in such little progress. Bottom Line: I know Sales Cold Calls suck (I still do them!), but if you want a full funnel there’s no way around it!

Lie #4 – “We Lost the Deal Because We Don’t Have _____ (blank)”

Be it a competitor’s _____ (blank), lack of marketing department’s production of _____ (blank), or just anybody other than the salesperson… this is a blame game. In the level-playing field of sales, if someone else is selling your product/service you’d better figure out how they are (and how you aren’t!)

Lie #3 – “I’m a 2nd Half of the Month Salesperson”

Most sales occur at disproportionate times of the month. Typically, most sales are made at the end of the month. However, NEVER pulling sales forward (not even for repeat customers) is problematic in that relationships are not being built, pipelines are running empty, and don’t get me started again on sales funnels not being full!

Lie #2 – “We Lost the Sales Because of Our Price”

Selling on price is a losing proposition. While benefits that don’t resonate rarely lead to sales, price point selling is a losing game all the way around (Unless you are the industry volume leader!)

Lie #1 – “I’m Too Busy Doing Everyone Else’s Job!”

Sales is an all-in moment… As a sales professional you have all of your skin in the game (Hats off to those 100% commissioned sales professionals out there!) Stop whining… Start selling!

SUMMARY

There used to be an adage that goes something like “If a salesperson’s lips are moving… They’re lying!” While not all sales professionals are lyers, in this post we’ve explored a sales leadership dilemma of 7 Lies Your Sales Staff Tells That Will Get You Fired!

Sam Palazzolo

PS – If you or your organization is challenged as a result of Sales / Business Development activity, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line and request future post titles! Here are a few other titles that are currently in the works:

 

About Sam Palazzolo, Managing Director

Sam Palazzolo is Managing Director at Tip of the Spear Ventures, an agile Venture Capital and Business Advisory Services firm specializing in Mergers & Acquisition, Sales / Business Development & Turnaround Management.