Why CEO's Fail in the Game of Sales
Let’s face it. CEO’s do not fail based on bad intent. CEO Frustration however is prevalent. We all do what we do because we think it’s the right thing to do. However, is it, and has it been the most profitable thing for you to do?
One Major reason for CEO Frustration: Bad Sales Execution! It is just that simple: failure to hold themselves and their sales people to the high level of commitment necessary to get things done;being indecisive, not delivering on sales goals and commitments.This is despite the fact that most CEO’s tend to be highly intelligent, dedicated, and accomplished. They worked hard, make sacrifices, and may have performed for years at a time.
Where does the CEO go wrong? The number one reason for CEO Frustration is that often they fail to put the right sales people in the right jobs--and the related failure to deal head on with consistent sales skill or sales attitudinal issues upfront. Specifically, failed CEO's are often unable to deal with sales people whose sustained poor performance deeply impacts the company. What is so alarming is that many CEO's usually know there's a problem; their inner voice is telling them, but they suppress it. Now, they may not know the actually root cause of the problem, however they are well aware of the constant ramification. Often those around the CEO recognize the problem first because many CEO’s are so deeply entrenched in the day to day operations of the business.
Additionally, CEO’s tend to constantly create an environment where everything appears to be ok, and avoid bringing up situations that may cause alarm; unknowingly compounding the problem. CEO’s rationalization and create their own excuses which are a mechanism for avoidance. Here are just a few:
1. "I like this guy!" Often, Small Business Owners create an environment much like a fraternity. The problem of blind loyalty shows up which clouds judgement and seriously impedes a Business Owners ability to take corrective actions.
2. "I can fix him." Keep something in mind – You hired him! Therefore, you were the one who failed to identify or recognize these same sales weaknesses that you personally must fix!
3. How Sales Interviews Backfire! Understand something about the interviewing process. More often than not while in the interviewing process you hear that voice, you know the one, in the back of your head telling you “I like this guy” when in fact-you ARE like this guy. We all tend to subconsciously hire people we are behaviorally similar to; resulting often in us hiring people with similar sales strengths and similar sales weaknesses! How are you going to fix something, that happens to be your own weakness?
GE's Jack Welch loved to spot people early, follow them, grow them, and stretch them in jobs of increasing complexity. "We spend all our time on people," he says. "The day we screw up the people thing, this company is over."
Decision gridlock can happen to anyone, but it happens most often to CEOs who've spent a career with one company, especially a successful one, and especially when it’s their own. The processes have worked, they're part of the company's day-to-day life--so it takes real courage to confront what most often they have created, or allowed to unfold.
They start by focusing on initiatives that are clear, specific, and few, and they don't launch a new one until those in progress are embedded in the company's DNA. We've all heard stories, most often from employees, who speak about their CEO's idea of the month--vision statements, quality, empowerment, leadership, all of which are absent of process.
If you have taken the time to read this article in its entirety, then we urge you to take the next step to investigate your options.