Did you know there are three silent killers that could be in your sales organization that can absolutely ruin productivity, teamwork, collaboration, and your results? If there aren't processes in place to deal with these obstacles, they could negatively change your sales team's trajectory. Read what the three silent killers are and how to avoid them.
This one may be obvious, but your sales leader really is the driving force behind your Sales Operating System. If the sales leader isn't doing well or driving the right things, then your sales organization could kill your company.
You may think your sales leader is effective if they are good at closing deals, hitting goals, being an accurate forecaster, and bringing good ideas to management.
But what if:
They may be getting results, but they may not be a great sales leader. They may not have the right leadership traits.
A common approach sales leaders often have is being the "doer" or the " reactor." They will take it upon themselves to do the action instead of developing their team to do the action. This particular type of sales leader has the mentality of, "I'm the only one that can do this right,” or "It takes too long to explain to someone else," or even "I don't have anyone to delegate to."
But the shift you want to see is the sales leader becoming the performance manager. You want your sales leader to develop people rather than do the work themselves. You want your sales leader to develop the system, not just hire "the superstar" and hope they have it all figured out.
If you want to avoid the pitfalls of a sales leader who isn't the right fit for your organization, you'll want to watch for a sales leader who:
If you start to notice some of these things, you may want to discuss how your sales leader can improve. Or if you have no idea if your sales leader is the right fit, you can always bring in an outside source like Pivotal Advisors to help you.
The second biggest killer of a sales organization is not making adjustments. If you don't change with the times, the times will change without you, and you may never be able to catch up.
Change frequently happens due to many factors. Some of the common factors are:
For example, the pandemic, a talent shortage, an industry shifting way down or up, or supply shortages.
For example, a new competitor, competition catching up, or alternatives to your solutions.
For example, new products or services, new initiatives, losing key players, people underperforming to expectations, or realizing you made a bad hire or new internal processes.
Issues if You Don't Adapt
Many challenges can arise if you don't adjust in times of pressure or stress. A few of the common challenges are:
Not adapting at all
Reacting too quickly, or by"gut instinct"
Communicate changes poorly
If you want to avoid the pitfalls of not adjusting or adapting when times call for it then you'll want to watch out for:
If you want to adjust and adapt, then you'll want to review your leading and lagging indicators regularly, get input from all your leaders, and set clear expectations.
The last silent killer of a sales organization is not addressing conflict. If you see something, say something. According to Pollack Peacebuilding Systems, "Employees in United States companies spend approximately 2.8 hours each week involved in conflict."
Some of the most common sales organization conflicts involve:
Workplace conflict is inevitable when employees of various backgrounds and different work styles are brought together for a shared business purpose. Conflict can—and should—be managed and resolved quickly. If not, then things get worse, or it could lead to:
The negative effects of workplace conflict can also cause emotional stress. This can be both a cause and an effect of workplace conflict, so address it quickly.
To address conflict well, "check yourself." Make sure you choose your words carefully. Handle your own emotions – do not be judgmental and watch your non-verbal communication. Pick an appropriate venue – don't address conflict or poor behavior in public.
Next, observe your team's reactions. Listen to the meanings of their words. Ask for clarification if need be. Finally, allow your team time to react to something – de-escalate their emotions and change them.
Lastly, come to a positive outcome. Pay attention to tipping points for cutting off conversations until your team can be productive.
The three silent killers of your sales organizations start at the top with your sales leader. You'll want to be sure they have the leadership traits your organization needs. The next one is not adjusting when something like the world, the industry, or some other factor calls for it. The last silent killer is not addressing conflict quickly or addressing it in an inappropriate way.
Maybe you have seen the signs of one of these three killers, or you, as the sales leader, want to brush up on your leadership traits and move to the next level. If so, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.