Salespeople do not need more negativity. An occasional kick in the duff may be in order for some who are lazy, feeling sorry for themselves, or contributing to the air of negativity by complaining, but in general you want as supportive a sales environment as you can get. You want a sales-positive context.
It Starts in the Executive Suite
The positive context begins with you. Here are some things you can do:
1. Celebrate every sale with an email or memo to the salesperson.
2. Make your sales meetings upbeat and positive, going beyond scoreboarding (reciting the weekly or monthly sales numbers) and talking about sales issues and how to meet them effectively. Bring in motivational speakers.
3. Meet with your key management people and discuss ways to make your context more sales-friendly.
4. Meet with—and, yes, confront—people in your company who complain about salespeople and who contribute to a generally negative environment. It’s zero tolerance for negativity.
But What about the Carnival Barkers?
So should you go light on the carnival barkers? Give them an accountability waiver because their jobs are so tough? Methinks not.
If you have constructed a positive sales context, you have the right to expect a quality effort from your salespeople. You won’t have to worry about the good ones. They will sell in that environment. Some of the less-talented but hard-working ones will become “keepers.” The malingerers, however—easy to spot in an otherwise bright context—need to clean out their desks. Looking for their replacements is something we will discuss next month. PN