You know, I like to think of myself as a creative person. I don’t want to brag or anything, but I made quite the impressive collection of pinch pots when I was in elementary school; one of them was so incredible, in fact, that I should really refer to it as a pinch jug. So I’d like to sit here and tell you that the techniques I’m about to share with you are the product of my own amazingly fertile mind.
Unfortunately, I can’t. Everything in today’s article has been pulled directly from the experience of a few salespeopleI know. And honestly, since I can’t think of any better ways to drain all the enthusiasm out of your sales team, I guess today I’ll just play parrot.
Are you sick of your sales force caring about their jobs? Then here you go!
Judge Your Sales Force on Metrics for Which They are Not Incentivized! Sales people thrive on meeting their goals. Part of it is because salespeople are generally driven, goal-oriented people, and part of it is because they get money and prizes and free vacations and other perks for meeting their goals. So if you can start holding them accountable for things that provide them with no reward, you’ll be taking away at least half of their motivation for working.
Hold Your Sales Force Accountable for Not Meeting Your Unstated Goals! Many sales managers have two sets of goals – acceptable sales numbers, and the ideal sales numbers. In some cases, those two figures are presented for everyone to see, so that the sales force can simultaneously be satisfied at meeting their initial quota and strive to exceed their ideal quota. But where’s the fun in that? Far more effective to provide your team with one goal, and then expect them to read your mind and shoot for a different goal that you’ve never shared with them. And the beauty of this is, you can always revise your ideal numbers up so that nobody is ever good enough to reach them, which will ensure that you always have something to be unhappy about. Huzzah for being impossible to please!
Value Current Success Less Than Future Potential Failure! This is my favorite, and it’s so ridiculous that I’m certain I would never have thought of it myself. Thankfully I have some sales friends to share their stories with me! Here’s a hypothetical conversation.
SALESPERSON: “Hey, boss, I’ve been regularly meeting or exceeding my sales goals. Aren’t you proud of me?”
MANAGER: “No. Because it’s possible that you won’t meet your goals six months from now. I’m disappointed in the salesperson you might be turning into at some indeterminate point in the future. You should be ashamed of yourself. Work harder.”
SALESPERSON: “Thanks, boss! You’ve just completely crushed my spirit!”
MANAGER: “Something I should have done long ago. Sorry it took me so long.”
I’m sure there are more things you can do here, but like I told you, I’m a parrot today. I can only write what others have told me. I’m sure I’ll find my brain again sometime soon. Maybe I should make another pinch jug. Or a pinch dish. Ooh, or a pinch couch! So many shapes I can pinch things into. I’m going to need to get a lot of clay…