SellingBrew

Insights & Tips

Already a subscriber? Login

Become a subscriber and unlock an information arsenal focused on making your sales operation more effective.

The Trick that Gets Sales to Accept Constructive Criticism

When you’re running a sales operation, you often sit on the sidelines and watch the game play out. If you’ve done things right, you’ve equipped the team with what they need to win. But they’re the ones out on the field that need to run the plays and rack up the points.

Of course, after each game is over, you’re the one with the data to to analyze plays—see what went well and where improvements can be made. Unfortunately this is probably the most challenging hat to wear in Sales Ops.

Even the most affable sales reps can resent being told how to improve—especially when they’re being told how to improve deals they’ve already won. Maybe some analysis revealed that:

  • Deals were discounted more than they should have been
  • Logical cross- or up-sell products aren’t being sold
  • Customers aren’t ordering the volume they could be

When these problems are discovered, it seems logical to sit the sales reps down and review ways to improve next time…talk about what could have been done differently and ensure it doesn’t happen again. But what are the odds of them being receptive to those problems? Not very high…

Thankfully there’s a trick. When you’ve been able to analyze the data to come up with the problem, you don’t have to stop there. The problems you’ve found are likely just symptoms. Use those analytic skills that helped uncover the solution to reveal the root causes.  As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, most problems are caused by faulty systems and ineffective processes–not the reps themselves.

A popular diagnostic guide in The SellingBrew Playbook, Preventing Unprofitable Deals Before They Happen, does an excellent job of walking through the steps of diagnosing and understanding those root causes. But it also goes further with some helpful guidance on getting reps and the management team to actually take action when you discover what’s creating the problems in the first place.

So what’s the trick to get sales to accept constructive criticism? Don’t bother. Figure out the root cause and you can likely solve the problem without having to criticize the way those past deals were conducted. After all, your first job isn’t fixing the problem…it’s figuring out what the real problem is that needs fixing.

Get Immediate Access To Everything In The SellingBrew Playbook

Related Resources

  • Fooling Yourself About Customer Retention

    In this Expert Interview, Rick Reynolds, the CEO of AskForensics, discusses their latest research and reveals a number of effective strategies for maintaining strong customer relationships and retaining your most valuable accounts.

    View This Interview
  • Creating Content That Actually Works

    Content marketing is getting lots of attention, but it's easy to gloss over some crucial processes. In this on-demand webinar, you’ll learn about ten proven strategies for creating more effective sales and marketing content.

    View This Webinar
  • Three Buyers That Don't Buy On Price

    If you lower your price, will you have a better chance of winning? Learn how to identify the buyers where additional discounts don't matter...and those that are secretly willing to pay more.

    View This Diagnostic
  • Closing Costly Revenue Leaks

    In this recorded webinar session, we explore common revenue leaks that can appear when the economy is roiling, your business is under intense pressure, and everyone has been scrambling to deal with the chaos.

    View This Webinar