The Zero Tolerance Approach To Sales Management

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Businessman with strong shadowWhen you hear the term “Zero Tolerance to Sales Management,” I would imagine your first thought is about having little or no patience for inept or slip-shod sales people. However, I am referring to the reverse. When talking about zero tolerance, I am speaking to sales managers who need to adapt to a policy of total responsibility.

Total Responsibility
By whatever the title, if you are the sales manager, the hands-on field general, you need to approach your job with the attitude of a ship’s captain, or the leader of an army battalion. You must take full and personal responsibility for the success or failure of your sales team.

Old, worn-out excuses like, “I tried my best, but that sales person would not work hard enough…” is no longer valid in today’s arena of the modern-day buyer and seller.

It’s simple: Your job is to hire, train and motivate the crew. If they fail…then you have failed.

Reasons for Failure
Let us look at this from a purely objective and logical point of view. What are the reasons that a sales person, hired by you, fails in their position? There are only three reasons:

Reason One: Lazy, lackluster work ethic – The sales person is capable of doing the job. She possesses the intelligence, knowledge and physical qualifications. He has the resources and training. However, the sales person simply will not do what is necessary to succeed.

Explanation of Reason One
This sales person is not motivated to succeed. Whose job is it to motivate the sales team? The responsibility is yours.

Reason Two: Cannot close sales – The sales person has the intellect and the motivation. In fact, she works harder than most. However, she cannot seem to get the close right. They cannot seem to get the sales presentation down correctly.

Explanation for Reason Two
This sales person lacks sufficient training. Period. Whose job is it to train the sales team? The responsibility is yours.

Reason Three: Not Capable of doing the job – Let’s face it; professional selling is not for everyone and some people should find a different line of work. So, you have that sales person who should find another line of work, or is simply not a good fit for your company or industry.

Explanation for Reason Three
This sales person should not be working for your company in the first place. Whose job is it to hire the right sales people? The responsibility is yours.

This may sound a bit harsh or even unreasonable. However, if you adapt to a philosophy of total responsibility, you will make less hiring mistakes and be more diligent in your devotion and dedication of your team’s success.

Adapt to the Zero Tolerance Approach to Sales Management and take personal responsibility in the success of your sales team.

Happy Managing


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 14 September, 2011

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