Everyone has heard about meritocracy, a professional evaluation and compensation model based on achieved results, usually revenues. It has been successful model for years and it is used all over the world, moving companies and industries up in business. In most cases, meritocracy produces effective and positive results, however, in extreme cases, it has also caused negative side effects across sales teams.
In terms of managing people, I’ve read an article where experts say that in extreme cases of meritocracy, employees can experience increased stress. This stress will actually have the opposite effect of success, and will lower their drive to produce results, which will result in the failure to reach sales targets and goals. As business gets more competitive, maybe it’s time to think about the evolution of the means by which we obtain results through people. In particular – salespeople.
Why Can Rewarding Sales Teams Based on Results Fail?
The explanation of meritocracy is surprising, though looking around, it is obvious that in our day-to-day activities, excessive obstinance on achieving the results leads to failure. Increased amounts of stress can cause sales people to forget about the sales tools and techniques that could help them succeed, as they let the pressure take over. Even worse, their managers, also under such pressure, fail to effectively manage and coach in these situations because of the added stress.
Pressure and the side effects of stress, are maybe, making more victims than results. It is time to go back to leadership and coaching and better manage sales reps with a consistent method-driven sales process. But before we do that, we should review some old concepts.
Sales goals are achieved through detailed account planning, efficient sales opportunities qualification, effective sales cycle management and winning strategies. And what are the tools currently available to help sales reps and their managers reduce pressure and make their efforts become revenues? Sales managers need to correctly manage their sales pipeline and be as accurate as possible in their sales forecast. Unfortunately, sales pipelines and sales forecasts are just another way of adding to the stress of sales reps, in already, high pressure situations.
To manage forecast or pipeline is not a sales rep’s main target, but undoubtedly these are the best way they can access and estimate their chances and risks on each opportunity in their portfolio. While pipeline management allows sales reps to better understand their sales funnel and if more lead generation is needed. Additionally, an accurate sales forecast should be a consequence of smart opportunity portfolio management with chances, risks and priorities well evaluated.
The bad news is that, widely known sales methods do not necessarily lead to reliable probability and risk assessment, since they are based more on subjective aspects than by a conclusive and effective model. The pressure eventually does the rest, driving sales management to a betting market. As we know, this stress results in a lack of results. This environment is surely not sustainable.
The good news is that we can find proven sales methods based on simple concepts that can be easily automated. These methods are available, published and implemented, and are ready to help change these intense and stressful situations.
Sustainability is a mature concept that is ready to be applied to the sales environment. However, meritocracy, as it’s used today in most of sales organizations, is failing and is not sustainable. Successful sales models and processes that help salespeople to be successful and attain their goals without stress but with excitement are the future of sales. Such sales methods do exist and can be automated and are a sustainable way to achieve the best results continuously.