Here is a blog written by Dr. Stephen Duarte:
There is no question that the economic conditions have affected your revenue generating potential. The tendency is to get tougher on the sales force when revenue heads south, but you might want to rethink that strategy. Pressure is met with resistance! The more pressure you apply to your sales forces, the more they resist; more importantly, both you and your sales force may not even know that it is happening. Chances are you manage based on your sales forces behaviors. For example, if they did not meet quota, you tighten the noose, and if they do good, you throw them the ole “Atta boy.” The one mistake I see repeatedly is the authoritarian approach to managing a sales force. Unfortunately, that style was proved ineffective decades ago.
Today, leaders are functioning on a human scale, which means that are taking into consideration the employee’s well-being. Those that understand this are seeing results beyond imagination. Why do results peak when employee are supported? It is simple. People have a tendency to response favorably to favorable situations, and negatively to negative situations. It is a rare person that thrives on constant pressure, and even then, they do not last long. If you want to build a sales organization that will produce the expected goals and objectives, and possibly beyond, ignore the end-point and focus on the journey. Now this does not mean that you forget about the goal; it means that you focus on the person you are relying on to achieve the goal.
A recent Stanford study examined the neurological blood flow of stressed employees. The study concluded that stressed employees lack the necessary blood flow required to provide the brain the proper nutrients needed to perform the simplest of task. As a result, creativity is diminished, frustrations mount, and motivation plummets leaving you with a sales force that physically cannot perform according to the expectation despite your demands and their desires. How do you fix it? Reduce the pressure. You should be interested in your sales forces mental, physical, and spiritual well-being; however, doing so may require that you self-reflect on your leadership style and its impact. Leadership has a 10% impact on profitability, but it is not always positive. Your leadership styles could be the reason why your sales organization is not producing the results. Do not take that statement personally! It is a simple statement of fact. If you have never considered that your style may be preventing financial success, now is your chance.
About Stephen Duarte
Stephen Duarte has spent his career examining leadership styles and their impact on the employee characteristics that effect organizational success. As a result, Stephen provides direct solutions to companies seeking alternatives to the traditional methods of growth. The programs and services he offers include comprehensive organizational analysis, two-day workshops, and leadership development programs. Stephen specializes in assisting companies to achieve their objectives by moving them beyond the tangible pursuit of solutions and focusing on the strengths of their employees for increased productivity and efficiency.