The “new economy” will require new attitudes, skills and actions. The first is to stop watching the scoreboard and start coaching or playing the game to the best of our ability! It will require all our best efforts.  You won’t be able to just wait for the market to come back or go back to basics. In fact, anything with back in it is probably the wrong strategy this time around.

Championship coaches don’t spend their time asking the players what the score is during the game or watching the scoreboard.  They would get fired because they would lose more often than they would win.  This behavior is what sales executives, sales managers and salespeople have too often deteriorated to in our current business environment. Watching the score and waiting for it to get better won’t get it done this time around…New intentions to drive the new attitudes, skills and actions are required!

Bad intentions have created bad behavior that has led us to the brink of a business and sales crisis. We need sales leadership to bring us back and great sales management to keep us on track.  The sales leaders and managers have to become the sales coach who wants to succeed even more than executive management or ownership, and then they can trust that sales management can get the job done.

In many companies ownership or management doesn’t trust, believe or want to interact with sales. Actually, this is another unintended consequence of the existing, “new customers first”, philosophy. It has affected how everyone in the company interacts with sales.  We talk about, “Nothing good happens until something is sold!”, but often, people in a company believe salespeople are overpaid, don’t work as hard as them and are not trustworthy. Sale management, coaching and leadership can change this but it will take real change and not just talk.

It is time for the profession of sales to grow up and be accountable.  It cannot do this in the current, “new sales first” sales process that exists today.  Sales management must take responsibility first by changing the existing process.

Today when the CEO calls the President and asks, “How are you doing?” what does he mean?  He is checking up on sales and a discussion of the company’s sales statistics ensues. Typically, right after this conversation, calls are made down the chain of command to each level until the Sales Manager calls Salespeople or Store Managers with the same conversation. This, “How are you doing?”, when we mean, “How are sales?” needs to stop.  This is the coach asking the players the score during the game.  We need new conversations that will only occur from new intentions in a new sales process.

It is time for a change. In fact, its way past time, so stop watching the scoreboard and start coaching salespeople how to make customers as your strategy to generate new results in the “new economy”.

By Mike Moore

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