The Common Delusion That Will Wreck Your Business

I spend a good deal of time helping CEOs and business owners understand why their salespeople aren't producing as well as the company needs them to produce.

  • Some of those salespeople need development.
  • Some need coaching.
  • Some need stronger leadership.
  • Some need to be held accountable.
  • Some have been miscast and need new roles.
  • And some need to be replaced.

This is all normal and should be expected with any growing sales organization. But what has become all too commonplace and should not be the norm is how long leaders tolerate poor performance. It is simply more costly than most people think it is. Many CEOs and business owners suffer under the delusion that poor performance is simply something they have to live with. They have convinced themselves that they can only have a certain number of "A" players on their team.

Many CEOs and business owners suffer under the delusion that poor performance is simply something they have to live with.

Most of the leaders I work with want things to be different. The problem is that they have subscribed to a delusional belief system that tells them it can't be any different than it is. This causes them to spend their time hammering away at the numbers, trying to make sense of their inaccurate sales forecasts, having the same conversations over and over again with their salespeople and sales managers even though they keep getting the same mediocre results, and justifying the mediocrity by reinforcing a belief system that tells them that this is simply how it is. You don't have to be Einstein to understand just how insane that is.

And what's even harder is that -- deep down -- they know that there is a better way. They just haven't found it. They know that suffering under the delusion of "it is what it is" means that they've given up. Most of the great leaders I know are not quitters. So they continue to accept mediocrity while the thoughts of failure slowly eat away at them. This is a cycle that can create a great deal of stress on a leader.

The problem is, deep down they know that there is a better way. They just haven't found it.

But it doesn't have to be this way. In fact, it shouldn't ever be this way -- if the leader makes a decision to eradicate that "as good as it gets" belief system, makes some practical changes to what they are willing to tolerate and takes action to correct their approach.

That means setting more appropriate standards and measuring everything to those standards. It means creating recruitment alignment by attracting and hiring the ideal sales candidateswho can and will perform to their role specification month in and month. It means adopting a litmus test for the specific skills and competencies needed for each sales role. And it means weeding out those candidates whose weaknesses will neutralize their sales skills and lead to mediocrity. It may mean implementing a sales development program that is laser focused on each individual's needs -- increasing the skills and competencies, while decreasing the weaknesses -- so that each of the "A" players on the team continues to raise the bar, sharpen the saw, and reach new levels of breakthrough performance.

I help CEOs, presidents, and entrepreneurs grow their businesses. In addition to providing tools and strategies for exponential growth, my company, Align Strategic, also recruits sales and sales leadership talent with guaranteed results. If you found this article helpful, please consider sharing it. If you'd like to learn more about how we help CEOs significantly grow revenue click here. If you'd like to connect on Linkedin, please follow me and send me an invitation to connect.

To schedule a Quick Chat with Cheryl, click here.

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