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Goodwill to All (Sales) Men (and Women)

GoodwillLast week I received this very forthright email from a friend, who is also a sales director, venting his spleen about his salespeople:

“Do u run a course called something like…….where the f..k were you when God gave us the ability to listen? Presumably practicing your f…..g product presentation?

Or perhaps one called……when a client makes that funny lip movement that indicates a question is forthcoming, just keep on talking or you might have to listen, consider and answer with some small degree of intelligence?”

Oh dear, I’m not sure he was feeling too much goodwill.

Although not expressed with quite such vehemence, many sales directors and managers express similar frustrations. That despite having invested heavily in training, CRM systems and methodology it’s still the top 20% of their team who deliver 80% of the revenue. Why aren’t the middle 60% better?

So that brings up a question – a lyric from Coldplay’s Clocks: “Am I a part of the cure or am I part of the disease?”

This is an especially pertinent question if you work for an organisation that has a heavy focus on forecast. There is nothing wrong with that but without awareness of the implications of repeated questions like:

1. How much is it worth? and

2. When will it close

…it’s easy to become part of the disease rather than the cure.

PS. The good news is my friend is a great sales coach and I can’t think of a better man to turn his team around.