Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How dumb are your sales reps?

Wake up! Your sales reps are not dumb.

The question really is, "Why do so many sales execs treat them as if they are?"

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with some brilliant Fortune 50 salespeople in the Boston area. Almost to a person, they had this comment, "why are we being asked to sell the cool new cutting-edge services but are both: a) being paid better to sell the older services, and b) required to sell 80% of our quota on the older services before even making one penny on sales of the newer ones?"

Wow! Unfortunately, this disconnect exists in way too many sales organizations in our country. I see it with each organization I come in contact with and there is no excuse. Wall Street is kind for a day or less ... but will your company make the really tough decisions early enough to be around for that day?

Your sales reps will sell: a) what you pay them to, and b) what you tell them to -- so quit treating them as if they are dumb, they aren't. Set your incentives to drive the behaviors you want, then focus marketing and support efforts around THOSE behaviors.