Please understand that the author completely understands the problems that 2020 brought some of us. The COVID-19 pandemic created & continues to create challenges for some companies that trickle right down to their sales teams. This is not lost on the author.
Sales. How can you not love sales? One of very few professions where you sit back, look at the past year, feel great about a great year (or crappy about a crappy year) & have nobody else to thank (or blame) but yourself.
Sure, you had help. You have products & services. Yes, there is a production team, management, operations, engineering, accounting, HR, etc. You had help, no question. But, at this time of the year, who are you thanking? Better be you. You deserve it.
If you had a great year, by all means, in Sesame Street fashion, thank the most important person. You.
What if your year was less than great? What if sales were down? What if 2020 flat-out sucked? Who are you going to blame? Better not be production. Better not be management. Better not be operations. Better not be engineering, or accounting, or HR. I got it. Blame the customer. Or better yet, blame your competitors!
No. Point that finger right where it belongs – right between your eyes.
Why is it so easy to take the credit when things go well, yet even easier to pass the buck when things go bad?
Enter #thesalespersonwhodoesnotholdhimselfaccountable. We all know that salesperson. It’s never her fault. It’s not his job. It’s not her responsibility. It’s not his problem. Somebody should have told her. She already did tell someone. He didn’t have time. Her account base is slow. His territory shrank last year. Her territory was too big last year. His key contact left the company. Her buyer got a promotion. And so on, & so on…
It’s comical how salespeople love the lime-light – when the light is limey. But, as soon as the light dims & the train falls off the tracks, they point their fingers faster than you can shake a stick (as grandpa used to say).
Pure comedy. Hate to break it to you, salespeople, but … There isn’t a single person in your company that doesn’t know what you’re up to. Not one person. If you are quick to take the credit, pump your chest & strut your stuff, that’s great. Just make sure you are equally as accountable when things go the other way – & they always do.
Imagine the culture at the company if:
- A salesperson admitted, “my mistake”
- A salesperson said, “I was wrong”
- A salesperson stooped so low to declare, “I was out-sold”
- A salesperson actually said, “I should have done a better job . . .”
- A salesperson agreed with his boss & started to prospect more
- A salesperson proclaimed, “I need a better relationship with (insert name)”
- A salesperson contended, “ABC company does a great job – I need to be on my toes”
- A salesperson actually complimented operations, or production, or accounting, or management, or engineering, or HR
That’s accountability. That builds strong cultures. But, for some salespeople – that’s too hard. Easier to blame. Make it a great 2021