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Sales Management Training – Protect Your Company From (Sales) Identity Theft In 3 Simple Steps

Business Development Officer? Business Procurement Specialist? Did you know these types of titles for salespeople can ultimately rob your organization?

As a Sales Management Training Consultant, I often notice business cards from salespeople with titles that require some effort to decipher. As I inquire further about their role, eventually it pops out – “I’m in sales”. It makes me wonder, when did “Sales” become a five letter word that can no longer show up on one’s business card? It gets deeper…

Building high performance sales organizations is my specialty. Much of my success is a result of a startling discovery made years ago – there is no proven correlation between Personality and Sales Productivity. This discovery enabled me to lead a team that transformed a $40B business unit into a $60B business unit in 18 months for a Fortune Global 500 company. How? We recognized anyone can succeed in sales despite personality. Sales is simple if you learn how to master sales behavior intelligence and develop your salespeople accordingly. Sales is about behavior and our proven sales system is built on the 25 behaviors that is proven to impact sales productivity – Sales Identity> is one of the behaviors we measure.

What is Sales Identity?

Sales Identity
measures a salesperson’s pride of the sales profession. If a person views selling as noble, they are considered to have a strong Sales Identity. The opposite is true for those who view a sales position as something to be ashamed of, they are considered to have a weak Sales Identity.

Selling is noble, we all sell everyday whether we realize it or not. However, selling is often perceived negatively because of bad experiences. To some degree, society tends to cast a negative light on people in the sales profession. Due to the strength of society’s misguided views, some sales professionals feel shame and are compelled to hide their sales position and adopt deflected titles such as, “Business Development Officers” or “Procurement Specialists”. Such behavior is proven to be costly, read on…

Some people refuse to accept the notion of selling altogether, even though they are in fact trying to close a deal. A classic example…

Recently I was on a flight to a sales conference in Atlanta and I struck up a conversation with the gentleman next to me. Our idle chit chat led into a careers conversation. He shared with me how he worked for a major home improvement company in charge of the distribution centers in 4 states in the South and Southwest. After explaining my role as a Sales Management Training Consultant and how I help sales teams and salespeople. He immediately responded with “I could never be a salesperson!” We continued our conversation and he explained to me that he was preparing for a major presentation with the Executive Team of the company because he felt he needed an additional $3 Million allocated to his budget for the following year. He went on to demonstrate to me how the organization “would ultimately benefit from the additional spend with a better Return on Investment (ROI)…”

As he was explaining this to me, I began to smile and chuckle. Initially, he probably thought I was being rude. Then I asked him “So, you are trying to convince the Executive Team to give you an additional $3 million for your budget, correct?” “Yes.” He replied. I then added “And you can support the benefits of doing so, correct?” “Yes” he replied again. “Are you sure you’re not a salesperson?” He sat back in his chair and smiled, I could see the light bulb turn on. My point dawned on him. I eventually gave him some coaching on how to think more like a salesperson and improve his sales presentation.

Why Measure Sales Identity?

Measuring Sales Identity can ultimately save your organization a substantial amount of money long term. How?

Organizations all over the globe are challenged to hire high performance salespeople, not doing so can be costly in terms of sales results, hiring and training costs. Recent studies show, the average cost of hiring a poor performing salesperson has swelled to over $100,000/year. Think about it, how much are hiring mistakes costing you?

Research shows – salespeople with weak Sales Identity will under perform within 6 months of joining an organization and ultimately “self select” out of the sales profession within 18 – 24 months. In fact, we found people with weak Sales Identity prefer to apply for “sales” positions with deflected titles because they insinuate less sales accountability.

Unless detected, salespeople with weak Sales Identity will struggle and steal valuable resources from your organization via increased turnover, higher training costs and poor sales results. Here are 3 simple steps to protect your organization going forward:

Step 1: Remove the Identity Crisis

A surefire way to jeopardize long term sales productivity is to have your organization struggle through a sales identity crisis. If the role is a sales role – title it as such. Top performing salespeople absolutely love sales and prefer to be called – Sales Representatives. Having deflected titles attracts weaker performers who will struggle to get out of the ranks of mediocrity long term.

Step 2: Monitor Your “Motivational” Costs with Sales Reps

If you find your sales organization spending more time on motivating sales reps within the 6 – 24 month window of being hired, you may have a Sales Identity issue. Depending upon the severity, there may be hope.

Step 3: Know What You’re Hiring, Prior to Making the Offer

Hiring mistakes pertaining to sales positions can be costly! Use an assessment tool that measures the Sales Identity of your candidates prior to hire.


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