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Short-Term Salespeople and Short-Sighted Management
by Jack Carroll
A few weeks ago I did a column about an article in Fast Company Magazine that gave some good information about presenting yourself well in a job interview. A few people (sales managers and executives) took exception to my "advising salespeople on how to leave their companies, after so much company money was invested in them." The implication was that I was biting the hand that feeds my sales consulting and training business by making it public to salespeople that they have options available to them to work for other companies. Here's my response...
My advice to management in this area is build the strongest and the most disciplined "learning sales organization" in your entire marketplace and you will control your own destiny and never have to worry about salespeople jumping to another company or another "deal."
Provide your salespeople with the knowledge, tools, and training to go out into the marketplace and win business because of the value they bring to customers. If you invest wisely in your selling system as well as your salespeople and are focused on customer value, you have nothing to worry about. If you are building and supporting this kind of a sales organization and are compensating salespeople competitively, they will stick with you forever even though they know they might make a few more dollars somewhere else.
What I find oftentimes happens is that management in many companies pays lip service to these principles but fails to engineer their sales organizations in such a way that they become invulnerable to salespeople or customers jumping ship. These companies don't really "add value" to either beyond providing a basic product or service. Hence, they get caught up in the competitive price game regarding both customers and salespeople.
If you run your sales organization under a "buy the best people and turn them loose philosophy," you can expect short term rewards (sometimes) and churn of sales staff moving on to other opportunistic companies.
My advice to salespeople is be careful of bouncing to a new company every twelve months to make a few more dollars. The winds of incredible business fortune that have blown for the last five years will not always be with us. When they diminish, make sure that you are standing firmly with a career and a future, not just a bunch of receipts from Porsche leases.
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|Sales Tip and Practice|
Salespeople, think beyond the next four weeks. Build a life and a career with your work, not just a big quarterly paycheck.
Management, think in terms of building a sales organization that is hard-wired for success through customer satisfaction, selling systems, and trained people. Everything else is temporary.
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