Do you want to see real growth in your sales organization? Here’s a simple tip: Start treating your sales professionals as people.

What does that mean? Right now, there’s too much emphasis on the company instead of focusing on people. Company culture begins at the recruiting/interviewing process. Treat a candidate as a human being during the recruiting process. If a sales professional is under performing, eliminate the “Coach ‘em up or coach ‘em out” mentality. If you take care of your sales team, they will in return take care of your customers—improving customer retention.

A culture shift has to happen.

Sales should no longer be considered a numbers game. Sales is about people. If you take care of your people, the numbers will take care of themselves. Believe me, I’ve seen it happen.

If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand sales.

However, I’ve noticed some condescending comments backed by selfish ideologies on LinkedIn lately. As an active user, I have been stunned with some of the statements made by recruiters, VP’s, CEO’s, and business owners on what is considered to be a “professional” platform.

Consider these most recent statements that came across my feed on LinkedIn:

  • Executive Recruiter: “ARE YOU ALLOWED TO ASK ME WHAT I MAKE?” Yes! Do yourself a favor and be honest about your salary and expectations.” Not only are some states banning this question, this recruiter should focus on skill set rather than what a job-seeker is currently making. The People Approach: Stop worrying about your quota and have the candidate’s career path in mind. Invest in your candidate and hire for their skill set and experience that they will bring to your organization.
  • VP of Sales: “If you want to work with our company, take some damn initiative.” Way to take your frustrations out when candidates reach out to you on a professional platform. The People Approach: This VP should’ve kept these comments to himself. If he’s too busy to respond, then pass these candidate’s inquiries off to the hiring manager of the company. Kudos to the candidates who took the initiative to reach out to a VP level. But if they saw that this very VP was making fun of their approach, why would they want to work for this guy?

Sales Is About People

  • CEO: “Am I the only CEO that is easily irritated when meeting a potential executive for the very first time to discuss an opportunity, to gauge a fit culturally, skill set, alignment, etc. and the candidate repeatedly brings up a comp discussion?” Not sure what interview process this company follows, but if a candidate is finally meeting the CEO, the potential executive candidate should know what the compensation for that position entails. The People Approach: Again, LinkedIn is not where you want to air your complaints. Focus on your hiring process if this has you “irritated” and find out why your candidates are asking you this question. You’re the CEO. You have control over the interview process.
  • Owner: “Sign of the times. Millennial are coming…remember they all won trophies at the soccer tournament.” Let’s continue to label people. I’m sure the “greatest generation” rolled their eyes as well. The People Approach: Stop the labeling. I have found that Millennials have been some of my best sales professionals. It’s all about leadership.

So in conclusion, sales is about people. If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand sales. Hire attitude. Develop skill set. Invest in people. In return, your organization will have a positive culture. Wouldn’t you rather attract talent than recruit talent? It starts with understanding people.

Greg Hahn

Greg Hahn is known for entrepreneurial vision and translating vision into revenue generation and productivity, thriving in a diverse and fast-paced executive environment. Throughout his sales management career, he has led several sales teams toward positive growth. His most recent accomplishment was with The Blue Book Network. In just two years, he was able to reverse an under performing region to one of the top regions in the company in 2015. Greg specializes in online marketing including website consulting, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and social media marketing.