What We Are Teaching (A Note to the Sales Leader)

Sometimes we teach the sales force lessons that we didn’t intend them to learn.

By not reviewing activity and outcomes, we teach the sales force that taking the activities and achieving the outcomes they need isn’t important. We teach them that they don’t have to prospect.

By not reviewing their pipeline of opportunities, we teach them that it isn’t important to build a funnel that ensures that they meet their number. We teach them that it’s okay to produce sporadic results.

By failing to review their opportunities, we teach the sales force that they don’t have to work on deal strategy. We teach them that it’s okay to wing it, come what may.

By paying only lip service to the sales process, we teach the sales force that the sales process isn’t important. We teach them to believe the process is irrelevant and that they don’t need to worry about creating value at each stage.

Giving the sales force one shiny object after the next teaches them to expect a magic bullet answer. It teaches the sales force to believe the tried and true, battle-tested methods are no longer worth their time. And it teaches them to look for easy answers to challenges that can only be overcome with a deep grounding in the fundamentals and first principles.

By giving the sales force quick answers instead of coaching, we teach them to become dependents. We teach them that our time is too valuable to waste on helping them develop and grow.

The Last Word

People don’t learn by listening to the words you speak. They learn by watching your behavior. They learn from what you do, the actions you take, not your words. Make sure the lessons you are teaching the sales force are the lessons you want them to learn.


What are you teaching the sales force?

What lessons might you be teaching unintentionally?

What behaviors do you need to change so you can teach a more powerful and healthier lesson?

Do your actions match what you value most as a sales leader?

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Filed under: Sales

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