Before you restructure your insurance brokerage to mirror a more traditional sales team, consider this expert advice: Jack Daly, author of Hyper Sales Growth
says it’s a simple fact of business: without sales, no one else downstream can do their job but because of how vital sales are to a company, CEOs frequently tend to misuse their best people.
“There are three sins that minimize the sales management role, which ultimately holds the company back from achieving its growth,” says Daly.
“When they misallocate key players, small to medium-sized businesses tend to go into one of two directions. They either stay small to medium, or they go out of business. When you ask why, it most often comes down to a violation of one or more of these three sins of sales management. Having the right people in important spots is absolutely the secret to success.”
To ensure continued growth, Daly says the people at the top must avoid the following:
Sin No. 1
: When the CEO or owner wears the hat of the sales manager. If you are doing that, you’re essentially relegating both the CEO job and the sales manager job to part-time status. In effect, you’re saying, “I’m going to grow my business part time.” If you want your business to grow, you must grow your sales force, and you need someone doing that full time.
Sin No. 2:
Making the best salesperson the sales manager. It can work, but seldom does. A salesperson’s role is to win new customers and nurture the ones you have, thereby differentiating you from your competitors. The sales manager’s job involves recruiting, training, coaching, building and developing. Being effective at one of those jobs is not an indicator that a person will be equally effective in the other. Salespeople are used to immediate gratification, involving a deal-to-deal routine. Sales managers, by contrast, must take their time to recruit, train and coach. A salesperson might easily become disenchanted with the pace of the new role and look for another sales job, perhaps with your competitor.
Sin No. 3:
The most grievous of all sins is when the best salesperson is made a sales manager, but he or she is also required to continue booking business. It’s absolutely ruinous. The person’s focus will remain fixed on the customer, as that is how their compensation is driven. Accordingly, the sales team will be underserved, missing the opportunity for leveraged growth.
The key to growth is to put the right people in the right places, Daly says. “Since sales drive business, it’s essential to match skills and personality types to the jobs, and to ensure the people can focus on their roles.”