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Sales Management Pitfalls

Give a quick check if you display or observe these :

1. Ego & mere-perceptions driving decisions and leading to a sort of comfort feel - while this in itself is not an issue, you will need to start asking hard questions and clinical estimators to see if you are indeed getting the results you had planned and getting to where you want to go to. And many a time we are blind to self-deception!

2. Simply rattling performance expectations and putting forth result parameters without plans or fall-back is not going to lead to anything worthwhile and will not stay. There is no greatness or charm in just knowing the 'end' without knowing the 'how'! How often do you hear - "I don't know how you will do it but I want it done that way". That sort of bravado is so old fashioned! Have you also heard - "do something; I don't care what"? There isn't any aggressive brilliance in that! It smacks of ignorance.

(Actually, the 'do something' on its own is a great opportunity for every salesman and executor to improvise... but the 'I don't care' footnote is a precursor to how the energy can get killed soon enough, any which way it is driven!)

3. Just because the execution of a plan is usually observed as you get on the journey and lets you make up the details as-you-go, there is a tendency to let-go the fundamental principles and veer off the objectives every now and then. It is fashionable to 'adjust' and be flexible in individual transactions to an extent - that you and the team lose spirit of the objectives. The goals get scattered and teams start diffusing the goal posts to meaninglessness.

I have seen many a managers call this by fancy terms which somehow makes it all right! The mere quarterly pitch statement does not help you to retain the momentum for long enough to see the next cycle! Nobody said you should not have the quarterly pitch as long as you keep it as a part of the overall plan & targets.

4. Are you doing everything that you need to do and can undertake in the engine? Has it been mapped and fleshed out as a system? The answer is almost always - yes, of course! Have you assessed in practical terms if all the elements are getting addressed and do you have a validation of that? Have you benchmarked the results coming out of the system at each stage with expectations or with peers? Is there individual ability to deal with difficult questions exposing the fundamental units of existence for each step and effort.

5. Sometimes rewards are doled out despite not being qualified for it. While this is a seemingly smart move for that instance to get over the sticky situation, it sets a whole chain of undesirable reaction which will reverberate in many cycles of business thereafter... if your incentives and commissions are not yielding the results, it could be that you are measuring the wrong performance indicators and pushing ineffective plan areas to get what you want. Another common practice which leads to the above situation is when you confuse religious approach to tasks and plan areas with the other holy aspect of measuring the result to reward. The 2 things are not in lieu of each other and are to be equally driven at all times.

It doesn't always do well to seek the easy path for resolution of these and it also need not be tough so, to execute.

SBS Dimensions - India


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