The Right Way to Manage Salespeople

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 2, 2008

What’s the worst way to motivate your sales force? Unilaterally setting a sales target and then shoving it down their throats.

"People, especially salespeople, don’t like being dictated to," says Joel Deceuster, founder of Deceuster & Associates, a consulting and business coaching firm. He believes the old school of sales management tells people what to do. But the new school invites salespeople into the process of setting quotas and goals, allowing them to figure out what they are capable of achieving.

If you think this sounds like letting the inmates run the asylum, think again. According to one manager, the great paradox is that salespeople will invariably come up with a more aggressive sales goal when left to their own devices than if their manager sets the target.

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