I know that this has a phrase that has been beaten to death recently with regard to reporting on the recession but I thought it summed up the situation we are facing in B2B selling right now.
I had lunch with a successful senior executive last week to discuss how he was getting on with a recent role move. His job is to re-invigorate a very large sales team within a very well established firm and a very well known name. To his horror he has discovered something of great interest to all of us charged with leading the way back from the brink.
It's not just that his sales people have neither sales process nor sales relationship skills - but his sales managers don't have it either and so can't support the front line sales people. Yes folks the truth has dawned - we are dealing not just with sales people who have been order-taking and not really selling (actively acquiring and building profitable relationships) but a whole generation of sales managers have been promoted who don't have the skills of relationship or process selling either.
Traditionally sales managers were good sales people who were promoted to keep them and their sales ability within the firm. They might have traditionally lacked leadership skills but at least they had the sales skills. Many of today's generation of sales managers have neither the sales or the leadership skills - and that is the perfect storm.
I work with firms to provide a three-tiered intervention that deals with just such a scenario. if your firm is facing just such a 'perfect storm' and you'd like some complimentary guidance on how best to resolve it drop us a line here and let's talk. We've got the skills to help you ride out the storm.