As his name suggests, John Fox has a sly and savvy take on all things sales — especially when it comes to getting more impact from your sales team. Today, he talks about his new ebook, 5 Management Blunders Causing Sales Impotence: why he wrote it and what it’s about.
Having spent most of my [egads!] 30+ year career working for and with fast-growing, small businesses, I’ve gotten an opportunity to witness revenue-generation like few others. I’ve participated in it, created it, nurtured it and mostly, fed it. It’s been a terrific ride, one that began when Intel punched my train ticket in 1979.
But saying all that, I also know the dark side of small business leadership. Regardless of management’s experience and formal education, somewhere along the line, the fundamentals have been forgotten, especially those related to the alignment of the entire company behind the sales people who make the top-line possible. And let’s remember, without a top-line, you have no bottom-line.
In some ways, it’s almost silly to believe that companies actually expect their top sales talent to do things that are way outside their comfort zone, to say nothing of things that are beyond their skill set. When executives expect sales reps to do tasks that literally prevent them from spending more time with prospects and customers, and then curse these same sales reps for missing quota, you have to wonder what planet management came from.
For example, when companies obligate sales people to enter copious notes into Salesforce.com contact records — a task that easily eats up an hour a day (12%) — you have to wonder about the value of those notes. For a sales rep carrying a $2M quota, those almighty notes have an implied cost of $250k. Seems to me, adding a secretary to the office (or some speech-to-text technology) would make much better financial sense.
Now in this example, I’m not saying all notes are unnecessary, just most of them. With a little effort, most sales calls could be summarized with exceptionally simple, standardized checkbox forms.
It’s this dark side that I want to expose. For it is the dark side that’s causing sales reps to be revenue-impotent. And while there’s no “blue pill” to bring an immediate “fix,” there are a few very simple things the leadership team can (and must) do begin the process of turning things around.
About John Fox:
John is president and founder of Venture Marketing. He has extensive hands-on experience as an entrepreneur and C-level new business developer for technology–enabled businesses. John has led the launch or re-launch of 44 companies, resulting in double and triple-digit growth for every client served.
You may download the ebook, 5 Management Blunders Causing Sales Impotence, here!