On yesterday’s post, we discussed how sales managers of struggling sales teams sometimes result to forcing compliance rather than gaining commitment – often resulting in a downward spiral and having a negative impact on sales.


Outstanding sales leaders find ways to get their teams to buy-in and commit to the success of the organization – thus, they influence behavior which is the true definition of leadership.

Take a quick inventory of your leadership habits by asking yourself these five questions:

  1. What are the activities and/or methodologies that I require my sales team to do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis?”
  2. What are my reasons for those requirements?
  3. Do the results achieved validate my reasons for the requirement?
  4. What would the result be if I dropped those requirements?
  5. What answers would my sales team give to these same questions?

Your honest answers to those questions will be real eye-openers for some of you.  Make a list of things you require from your team and then estimate the lost selling time that comes as a direct result of those requirements.  What is the resulting ROI?

Your greatest loss is not in the actual selling time.  Your greatest loss is in the lack of buy-in from your team.  The unfortunate truth is that you will never get commitment and buy-in from your team if you are constantly relying on requirements or compliance to motivate their behavior.

So what do you do to change that lack of commitment in your organization?

  • Develop a culture that values commitment over compliance in every possible way.
  • Clearly communicate the results needed by the organization and why.
  • Develop a bottom-up mentality that asks the person in the trenches how they would do the job if management gave them the autonomy to do so.
  • Encourage goals from the bottom up in your sales team, and then equip and mentor the members to achieve their personal goals.
  • Take your inventory of “required” activities and methodologies to your team; then ask questions about the effectiveness of each item.  Get open discussions going about the changes they believe are needed.
  • Find ways to get your team to design and own any activities or methodologies that you feel are imperative for organizational and individual success.

As Dondi Scumaci says, “Compliance will never take you where commitment can go.”

Require results.  Coach methodologies.  Transfer ownership of the processes to your team.


In what areas are you willing to divest ownership of a process to your team?

Where would that transfer of ownership scare you the most?