This is an excerpt from my second book, Managing the Sales Process, available on Amazon.com. You can find a series of these excerpts in a dedicated blog category to get a broad overview, post-by-post, of the book (they are listed in reverse order in the category, so start with the oldest).
From Chapter 5 – Employment Contracts & Chapter 5 Conclusion
Many sales organizations make the mistake of writing very bad employment agreements that can be hard to get out of. Be sure to include the very clear expectations of the job (execution of the sales process) and the conditions around which a person will be fired in your employment agreements for salespeople. If you took the time to do all of the work laid out so far in this book, incorporate the results of your work into your sales employment agreement so that when the time comes that you need to let someone go, it is not a surprise nor can you be surprised with a legitimate lawsuit. Make sure you have clear expectations and include them in the employment agreement, and you can then run your sales organization as you like ─ towards profitability rather than sustained mediocrity.
In some countries, regulations make performance-based employment agreements more difficult than in others. In spite of this, your employment agreements should be clear, specific, activity-based, metric-driven, and focused on accountability. This level of clarity about the job from the start will always do more good than harm, no matter what specific legalities might be a part of your regulatory environment.
CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION
When there is nothing to hold your salespeople accountable to, you can’t hold them accountable. We solved that in Chapter 3.
When there is no one responsible for and dedicated to holding your salespeople accountable, you can’t hold them accountable. We solved that in Chapter 4.
Here, in Chapter 5, we illustrated the problems that occur when accountability is not a part of your sales organization culture. Then we mapped out a way to create that accountability:
- Make expectations clear, measurable, and mutually agreed to
- Make sure that there are clear rewards and clear consequences associated with success and failure to do what is expected
- Use some form of simple matrix to determine at a high level how to handle various combinations of efforts and results
- And finally, make employment contracts that reflect all of the above
When you take actions on the correct form of accountability, you create a sales growth machine. Your salespeople will either be profitable and growing or soon heading out the door. This recipe has the potential to give you enormous revenue growth. The last ingredient in this recipe is bringing on new salespeople not just to replace those lost but rather to add to the collection of profitable salespeople in your organization. Don’t limit those numbers! We’ll address that more in the last chapter on continuous recruiting.
Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)
So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.
If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:
The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.
Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.
The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.
If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.
Here’s to your success!