At a recent routine doctors’ visit, I was told my blood pressure was normal. It’s always re-assuring to hear this, but as I thought about this a little more, I started wondering... what is blood pressure, and what happens when it’s not normal. Blood pressure is the amount of force that the blood puts on the walls of the blood vessels as it passes through them.
Most of us worry more about high blood pressure. It is something to be concerned about. High blood pressure can lead to heart failure, kidney failure and other serious problems. But low blood pressure is not good either. When the flow of blood is too low to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to vital organs like the heart and kidneys, you could end up with temporary or permanent damage.
Top sales managers know they need to keep just the “right pressure” on to have a high performing sales team. If the pressure is too high, sellers might fail to do the right things—focusing more on the short term wins. If the pressure is too low, sellers won’t push themselves to their maximum potential.
As you consider the performance for each seller on your team, look for areas where they are having trouble and challenge them in those areas (good pressure). Consider ways you can you use their natural talents to improve in those areas. When you observe areas where your entire team is having trouble, the problem is not likely your sales people—it’s likely a systemic problem or a sales process bottleneck. When you encounter this problem, don’t just bark out orders telling everyone to improve (that’s bad pressure). Study what is causing the problem and look for system-wide solutions.
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John Henley is the Chief Operating Officer at The Center for Sales Strategy.