There isn’t enough time in the day.
At least, not enough time to recollect all the excuses sales staff come up with to skirt their responsibilities. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of showrooms, I see all evils. How we have grown accustomed to allowing these perpetrators from completing their tasks, I do not know.
Common sales scenarios I find ironic:
Problem: Customer is not greeted promptly on the showroom, or at all.
Sales Staff Excuse: “I didn’t see them.”
The Irony: What else are they looking at, if not the showroom for customers? Oh, that’s right:
Problem: The CRM is swimming with overdue tasks.
Sales Staff Excuse: “Uh. I’ve been busy.”
The Irony: They’re busy…
Problem: Won’t adapt to using iPads in the showroom or plainly revolt against tablet usage
Sales Staff Excuse: “I don’t know how to use it.” Or, “It slows me down.”
In most of my posts, I’d say this is the fault of management. Poor monitoring, worse accountability, and a lack of training are all reasons important sales tasks are not completed in a reasonable time frame.
However, it is time we put some onus on the sales professionals of our industry to take what they do seriously. I’ve said before, I don’t believe it is possible to motivate someone. Sounds crazy, yes. There are countless “motivational trainers”, “motivational seminars”, and “motivational quotes” that permeate our daily lives. But they’re not responsible for results.
You cannot motivate another person. People must self-motivate. However, self-motivation is easier if you teach them skill, instill confidence, and provide goals. How are you trying to make sales staff realize the irony of their excuses and the over-use of their own devices? Are you challenging them to embrace new technology by pointing out the similarities with what’s in their hands? Are you providing them hands-on walk-throughs and tutorials necessary to improve their skill-level? Are you showing them how to complete tasks properly, and holding them accountable if they don’t?
Do they even know you’re paying attention?
Therein exists the irony. When tasks go overdue, when sales dwindle, and when technology fails to be adopted, there is selling happening. It’s just the sales staff selling management on the idea that their excuses are valid. Their job is selling customers, yet they dedicate time and effort to selling managers on why selling can’t be done. I’m all for allowing salespeople being able to use their smartphones at work, provided it is for work (and that relevant notes of communication attempts are made in the CRM). But the wasting of time needs to cease. Make it a point to eliminate excuses from the floor, and you’ll get people off their phone, and on task.