5 Challenges that Business Leaders Have Regarding Sales

5 Challenges that Business Leaders Have Regarding Sales

How many organizations are run by people that have climbed the corporate ladder having started in the sales department? I think you will find not many. Just do a search on LinkedIn of people with CEO in their job title and randomly scan their career history and background. Certainly, you will find many with specializations in finance, operations, legal, engineering, sciences etc. but sales, I think not. It’s an interesting irony when you consider that unless there is a knowledgeable, productive, inspired sales organization, then there is nothing. What’s more the potential lack of understanding can create internal challenges that have the opposite effect of what is intended.

Here is a list of 5 challenges that business leaders have regarding sales;

1.    Never carried a bag

In so many walks of life it is very difficult to form an accurate view on anything unless you have tried it. To make a cold call and develop a qualified prospect opportunity that in turn converts to a sale is one of the greatest feelings around. To not understand the various stages of that process and the many disappointments along the way will never provide a full appreciation of the enormity of the achievement.

2.    Believe that selling is beneath them

Let’s be honest, how many people in their junior year at High School were excited to tell their parents that they wanted to go into sales. Law, medicine, the military are examples of career choices we know would bring a smile to Mom and Dad’s face and give them something to boast about to their neighbors. The fact is there is an incorrect and unfair view of the sales profession and this view is pervasive from an early age. It was probably because of the sales profession and the wealth it generates that paid for many College tuition fees. However, things have changed; today’s professional sales person is a 21st century entrepreneur, perhaps as far removed from the guy your Pop once bought a car from as you can imagine and should be treated as such.

3.    Over indulge in the wrong things

And on the subject of parents and parenting, there is a view that spoilt children come about because they are over indulged in certain past times to make up for other perhaps more important and constructive activities. Yes, I don’t know a sales person that doesn’t love attending a great sales conference or enjoying a luxury all expenses paid holiday won from an internal incentive, but it doesn’t make up for the need for real support and understanding when it comes to closing those much-needed deals at the end of the quarter.

4.    Don’t invest in skills development

Continuing education is a well-used phrase in many areas of corporate life, but how many times do you hear it referred to when it comes to sales. Some surveys would suggest that less than 50% of corporations have a professional sales training and development strategy for sales. Incredible really when you think that all those other corporate professions that are getting their education credits wouldn’t have a job without a highly efficient and well skilled sales team. Like many roles, you don’t learn to sell just once.

5.    Uses sales management as the fall guys

In the good times, the board rooms of many a corporation are full of people patting each other on the back, but in the bad the mid-level sales management are blamed for pretty much everything. Given that the nasty smelly stuff always rolls downhill, it doesn’t take long for the sales team to bare the brunt. That person in the middle is then considered public enemy number 1 both up and down the chain, not the most conducive environment to create a little positivity. Mid-level sales management development training is the C -suite’s eyes, ears, ambassadors and envoys, potentially one of the most important roles in the company. Keep them close, trust their opinions and make decisions that consider their input.

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