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Sales Teams … Should you play the hand you’ve been dealt?

10/12/2009 Leave a comment

Anyone that’s played poker knows how hard (or stupid) it is to push a pile of chips into the pot when you’re holding a marginal hand. Yet month after month, thousands of companies push out a paycheck to sales reps that have very little chance of delivering a win. A good poker player always knows the odds of winning based on the cards he has in his hand. However, those that lead a sales team often don’t have any quantitative appreciation of what they have on their hands other than what happened last month or last quarter. And if they don’t know what they have, then how can they continue to make those monthly bets that a miracle hand will suddenly appear?

Are you “All in”?
Fortunately for the poker player, he can always fold and save his bets for the next hand. Not so easy with a sales team though. Since many companies are already “all in” with the bets on their sales team, they attempt to change the odds by motivating, training, pleading, intimidating or any other tactic they think will change the outcomes. But what if the odds are so heavily stacked against you that no amount of continued investment will make any difference? How would you know if certain reps are not trainable, are not coachable and can’t be motivated? Who are the real winners or the potential winners?

What next?
The answers lie in not relying too heavily on gut instinct, or hope, or other intuitive or traditional approaches that don’t have a predictive validity. Many sales leaders are aware that there are many profiles, assessments and other tests available that apply some science to evaluating what they have on their hands. The challenge is in finding the right tool for the job, and to make sure that it is being used by a qualified practitioner. Too many times, the wrong assessment is used for the wrong reasons and another bad bet gets made. You can increase your chances of success by finding a Sales Force Development expert that has the right tools to evaluate the make-up of your current team and show you what your chances are.

Take out the risk
If you want to start seeing how you sales team rates, check out our tools section and try out some of the free assessments from Objective Management Group.

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