Put Management In The Hotseat

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

Office Chair on Fire3 Must-Ask Questions that Every Sales Professional Should Ask Management

With 2014 upon us, many people are experiencing promotions, lateral moves into different sales roles, and some are even exploring new opportunities in different companies. Irrespective of reason and requirement, not all companies are built the same. You’ll want to nudge, probe and ask questions to your sales leadership and management that makes them a little uncomfortable.

Trust me – they won’t kill you. And you’ll discover a lot more about the management and company in return. Sounds like a win-win to me.

If you’re in a current sales role, or interviewing for one, you’ll need to be mindful of a lot. Quotas and commission structures are important, but there’s a lot more to consider that many are missing. Here’s a helpful list of things you may not have thought about before. Feel free to leave a comment with any other questions/topics that you think are important.

What’s the Sales Culture of this Company?

That’s a fairly broad question and topic so let’s get detailed for a moment. You’ll want to make sure that the culture of the company you’re in – or, are about to join – prides and rewards innovation. If you plan to be a cog in the wheel, this question really isn’t for you. But if you plan on being an A Player then this one is a must-ask.

Companies that constantly innovate are trying new things all the time. They’re never satisfied with the status quo and are pushing boundaries. Keep in mind, though, that if you’re an individual that doesn’t handle change well, then sometimes you may also get “pushed around” in the midst of these explorations your company is taking. Accept that and be comfortable with it. If you’re ready to double-down on growing and learning, innovative companies are the best for you.

This means that they embrace new ways of doing things (like Social Selling) and be comfortable with ensuring that all sales staff are in a constant cycle of learning.

How do you Reward Sales Professionals?

“What a dumb question” some of you may be wondering, but hear me out for a second. Psychologists and business gurus are now all espousing the linkages between motivation and performance. And guess what, it’s not all about money. Daniel Pink brilliantly addresses this fact in his latest book Drive (Amazon link and TED Talks link). Some of the best company cultures reward their team members with opportunities to advance knowledge, trips abroad for charity missions, and different departmental projects that take into account their skills and passions.

Yes, “it’s all about the numbers” but trust me you’ll want to shoot yourself if you’re not going to be challenged and motivated. Life is and has to be more than just about numbers. This isn’t just good for employees but good for business, too.

Corportate Culture Table Light Edit

Where Does the Customer Fit?

A lot can be deduced from seeing how a company treats its customers. And this is a direct reflection on management – so make sure you ask this.

If the company management’s behavior indicates that the customer is bothersome…run. Run far, far away. If they’re making a lot of money, even more reason to run. Because that gravy train won’t last forever. If you’re here to build a rock solid career for yourself, then learning has to be at the center of this. You won’t learn anything from this type of company culture. In fact, you’ll be wasting an opportunity to be learning elsewhere.

Company cultures that keep the customer front and center in their business models are incredible places to work. I’ve had the fortune to work at places like this, where customer experience is baked into the mission statement and then deconstructed to reflect in every department.

The Bottom Line

Innovation, learning and customer experience should be at the core of every sales professional. But unfortunately, we know this not to be the case. This is a direct reflection on company cultures where we “grow up”. But the bottom line is that it’s up to us to expand our knowledge and advance ourselves.

Social Selling brings together all three of things. It’s not difficult, it’s just different. Got questions on how to get started? We’ve got answers. Book some time with me below to learn some live tips, tricks and tactics.

To learn more about Social Selling check out 10 Steps to Becoming a Social Selling Machine or 9 Steps to a Winning LinkedIn Profile for Sales Professionals. For tips, tricks and more rants, we could always set-up a time to chat using my below schedule …

Amar Sheth


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