So, Stop Trying to Outsmart Them
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
Salespeople Know When You Lie
It’s no secret that turnover for commissioned sales teams is higher than almost any other profession; and while the “experts” will point primarily to bad hiring practices, the truth is that if you take a good leader and give him or her ten stiffs (newbies, green peas, etc.) they will outperform a bad manager with ten “perfect” candidates.
Moreover, the good leader will likely see long-term turnover rates below 20%, while the bad manager will constantly struggle with a rate closer to 70% – even with all “perfect” candidates.
Whether with turnover, profits, sales, customer service, growth, you name it: leadership matters above all else. If you’re a sales manager and you’re struggling with salesperson turnover, it’s likely you’re not a very good leader… yet.
Interestingly, eliminating turnover issues forever is actually pretty easy. You just need to follow a few steps:
- Write some simple, fair business rules. (Think of these as your Ten Commandments.)
- Make sure your pay plans are fair and enduring. (This means real success gets financially rewarded today and tomorrow.)
- Write some repeatable sales processes. (Simple steps your team can understand.)
- Enforce these first three steps fairly. (Good people like order and great people love structure; while slackers hate having someone telling them what to do.)
- Be nice and don’t ever lie.
Good salespeople are good because they can read people, and they’ll always know when you’re lying. The key is sincerity. You have to be sincere about all five of these simple, yet important steps.
The shit sandwich here? Simple: this is all work; it’s structured; it’s not the “fun, seat-of-the-pants” management style that most sales managers love (and most salespeople hate).
It’s also accountability – something most managers aren’t good at, but a place where all leaders excel. You hold your team accountable to Steps 1-3 and they hold you accountable to Steps 4-5.
Accountability, as some of you may know, is a giant shit sandwich most managers are afraid to tackle; but it, more than anything else, can make or break any team’s ability to drive genuine growth for a company.