Sales leaders, like teachers and other influencers, have the power to develop or destroy, to mentor or marginalize, to coach or to crush.
That’s a significant impact on a business and the drivers of that business's success, its people. That power can be used to foster positivity or negativity.
Sales Leaders Can Make Or Break Their Organizations
Many sales leaders who have direct reports, such as a sales department, may be in their positions not based on their talents for coaching or developing and contributing to the bottom line, but rather because of relationships and quid pro quos. Or the hiring manager may have succumbed to the “Halo Effect” during the interview. The Neilson Norman Group describes this in this way: The Halo Effect is when one trait of a person or thing is used make an overall judgment of that person or thing. It supports rapid decisions. It’s based on subjectivity vs. objectivity. It’s a decision that can wreak havoc once that hire enters the building. If you have regrets over hiring the wrong person for a sales leader role please read on.
A Gallup Workplace Satisfaction Study reveals that 70% of employees are not engaged. Even more alarming is that one in five top performers are likely to leave their jobs within six months. The number one reason why these valuable contributors leave is because of their manager. This sales leader has failed these people—failed to keep them engaged, failed to coach and develop them to reach their potential, failed to recognize them as individuals who have talents to contribute to the success of the organization, failed to be authentic.
10 Characteristics to Watch Out For
If you’ve hired one of these sales leaders or “bosses” without an objective talent assessment, here are the behaviors to be cognizant of from day one. Geoffrey James says, “By the laws of mathematics, most bosses are more or less average, however the bosses who are really awful share ten very easily identifiable characteristics:"
- Indecisive – paralysis by analysis
- Impatient – short fuse, vents frustration on employees
- Drama – set back or losses become Mt. Vesuvius
- Controlling – my way or the highway; doesn’t consider others point of view
- No Self-Awareness – tend to be driven by emotions and takes the team on the roller coaster they’re experiencing
- Plays Favorites – perks, leads , plumb accounts are not based on merit
- Hog the Limelight – takes credit for the team’s success; doesn’t recognize team or individual contributions
- No Flexibility – change averse
- Blame Game – doesn’t assume responsibility
- Hero – believe they are the reason for the team’s success
How To Avoid Bad Hires
There is a way to avoid bad hires like the above. There is a better way to not have to settle for average (or awful), to avoid the effects of a rapid decision made on subjective decisions.
The Center for Sales Strategy focuses on talent to enhance performance that can change the ordinary salesperson into the extraordinary salesperson. That can only happen if there is a sales leader who can nurture the talent that consequently contributes to the bottom line. We offer an objective tool, The Profit Center Manager Interview, which reveals a candidate’s "talent theme summary." This assessment delves into six areas:
- Drives and Values
- Work Style
- People Acumen
- Thought Process
- Strengths and Weaknesses
An objective assessment like this truly levels the playing field and allows the hiring manager to not make a rapid decision. To not make a decision based on emotion and subjectivity. To not have to settle for average or awful.
As Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are; believe them the first time.”