Surviving The Sales Manager Zombie Apocalypse
They may be running rampant in your organization—sales managers who are straight out of The Walking Dead. They prowl around, infecting their teams with frightening rules and habits and severing the flow of healthy sales.
Josiane Feigon, president and founder of TeleSmart Communications, says leaders must put a stop to the flesh-eating sales practices that are draining the life from sales organizations. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Feigon's insights on what to watch for and how to fight back against the sales manager zombie apocalypse.
By now, everyone should understand the value that inside sales brings to an organization, says Feigon. But many VPs still map the inside and field with unrealistic ratios, forcing small inside sales teams into service and support roles for tons of outdated field reps.
Building inside sales organizations the right way is a complex science that pays attention to the people, process and technology. However, Feigon says many organizations do not build them from the inside out. Instead they hire talent, load them up with shiny tools, measure them through stale dashboards and keep raising sales quotas.
Managers continue to coach and mentor their teams, but they still expect the same old results. This stale thinking is gnawing at their team's sales psyche and bleeding their creativity and resourcefulness dry, according to Feigon.
Field sales partners have no place to hide anymore. Their great looks and shiny grey suits are not getting them any appointments with customers. Let the inside sales teams out of the dungeons and show them what they can do, says Feigon.
Mini-zombie team members are gathering speed. They come in expecting to have your job in the next few months, they reluctantly make calls, they rarely have human conversations and they relentlessly stalk customers—chasing them on their cell phones, sending them unsolicited meeting requests and begging them for just a little more time.
Customers are finally standing up against these zombies, says Feigon. They realize that they simply don't need salespeople to survive. So, they cancel meetings, refuse PowerPoint death marches and mentally shut down.
Smart leaders don't succumb to the sales zombie apocalypse. They know that their sales survival depends on adopting the latest practices and using the ones that truly work. If you want to find stability and success in a sales environment that's often chaotic, commit to keeping an open and creative mind. Your sales survival depends on it.
Source: Josiane Feigon is president and founder of TeleSmart Communications, a global training and consulting company specializing in inside sales. She is the author of the blog TeleSmart, and her articles have appeared in Selling Power, Call Center Magazine and other industry publications.