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Sales Meeting Minute

Service fit makes happy employees

Finding the right employees for the front lines of your company is key to developing a great service attitude within your company. It is just as important as hiring the right accountant, manager, salesperson or CEO. In fact, it may be more important, as customer-facing employees have the power to directly affect your top line revenue.

Too often employers give little thought to the kind of employee who will be the best fit in their customer service department. They hire ‘nice’ people or people who talk easily with clients. There are actually four kinds of customer service jobs and countless environments that tweak the kind of person that will fit well into an organization and, although an employee may perform well in one service situation, they may not be able to make the move easily to another.

Finding the right customer service employee is a matter of process – from understanding the role, to assessing candidates to fit that role, interviewing to uncover strengths and weaknesses and managing to grow an employee’s competencies. A good fit makes for a comfortable and profitable working environment for both employee and employer.


Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit


Is this service?

Recently, I came across a letter of complaint to the head of a huge international furniture organization from a dad buying his daughter a bed. He had ordered over the internet, followed instructions and the wrong parts had been delivered. When he called the ‘helpline’, a recording told him there would be a two-hour wait and he should try the ‘live chat’ on their website to solve his problem. On the website he got an automated voice that informed him it would be faster if he called the ‘helpline’. This went on for many months and now, six months later, he still doesn’t have his daughter’s bed and he is caught in customer care hell.

So many organizations spend millions on advertising, only to lose customers in the execution of the sale. Is a two-hour wait time on hold reasonable? How about inviting people to a ‘live chat’ that is actually automated and difficult to navigate? It’s obvious that people want to connect with a live person who can quickly and directly solve their problems.

Unfortunately, the man’s letter ended the way many complaints do: With a frustrated, "I will never do business with your company again!"

If it isn’t easy for people to deal with your company, they won’t. They’ll find another place to do business and post their dissatisfaction over the internet for thousands to read. Bad customer service catches up with everyone eventually.


Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit

Salesperson's failures

Can we as sales managers take credit for our salespeople’s success? How about their failures? Gather a group of sales managers and the conversation inevitably turns to their people; their A performers, B performers, and C performers.  Which group do you think demands most of their conversation? Typically the answer is the lowest performers.  ‘C’ performers use more resources, occupy more worry time in the mind of a sales manager, and may even be considered a personal failure by the manager. 

When hiring, even the most sophisticated hiring process in the world, gauging the possible success of a salesperson is an inexact science.  Lowering the risk factors by using good assessment tools and interview skills is critical.  Success in the past is indicative of success in the future, but there are always a few unknowns that can affect that.

Things like problems in their personal life can affect their effectiveness, and that’s something we can’t foresee.  We do the best job we can, involving all the technology and expertise available and we try to get an 80% match at best.  The rest has to be cultivated and grown.

The job of the sales manager is to help their people be successful. Coaching, mentoring, training and supervising are all part of the management role, and on-boarding is a time demanding process.  The job is made easier, and the outcomes made better, by the willingness, openness and eagerness of the salesperson to ‘get it’, how hard they are willing to work, and how able they are to adapt and change.  The responsibility lies on both shoulders – the manager to provide the resources, and build the skills of the salesperson and the salesperson to implement.

Continued support can be provided by the sales manager through setting expectations, long-term learning and through accountability. This is achieved through pre-call planning and debriefing calls, teachable moments, goal setting and creating a culture that develops business people in sales.  However sometimes, ‘you can lead a horse to water …’.  If the sales manager is providing the support, the work, and responsibility, then it must be the salesperson.  If they side-step responsibility, don’t show initiative, refuse to comply to the accountability and key performance indicators, there is little the manager can do but institute corrective measures for the company.

So, is a salesperson’s failure, a failure of sales management? It comes back to the IF.  Success in sales is a team effort. There are responsibilities for both the salesperson and the sales manager. IF there are too many failures the breadcrumbs may lead back to the sales manager.


Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit


Managing your sales team

Managing a sales team can be quite a challenge. Harnessing individual personality preferences and getting everyone focused on the same goals, moving at the same pace, and working in collaboration to develop business opportunities is a major (and some would say impossible) undertaking.

To illustrate the complexity of the task, let’s examine the dynamics of the sales team at Hypothetical Systems, Inc.

Bill is the sales team leader. He is extremely knowledgeable about the company’s services and the markets served. Bill’s teammates describe him as having only one speed – fast forward. His strategy, from their perspective, is “give me the relevant facts and figures and let’s get moving”. Actually, once Bill gets a clear picture of the opportunity, he makes decisions quickly and is ready to take action.

Tom is a senior member of the sales team – having been with the firm almost as long as Bill. Tom is also a ‘give me the facts and figures’ man. He wants all the information about an opportunity before he is ready to make decisions. But, unlike Bill, Tom needs to invest more time analyzing the information before he is comfortable taking action. He’s always looking for more information to analyze and review – and review – before he is ready to move forward with an opportunity.

Karen is another member of the team. Unlike Bill and Tom, she is not particularly interested in facts and figures, she only needs “the big picture” to get a sense of an opportunity and the possibilities it holds. She plays hunches. When pressed for the rationale behind a course of action she suggest, her typical response is “That’s just the way I feel.”

Jeff is the fourth member of the sales team. Any one of his teammates would tell you that Jeff is a “people person.” Jeff’s concerns tend to revolve more around the people involved in an opportunity than the facts and figures that Bill and Tom are concerned about or the possibilities that Karen looks for. Jeff’s aim in developing a selling opportunity is to maintain a state of harmony between all of the players.

Each member brings something different and valuable to the team – something that enhances the team’s ability to understand an opportunity. But, at the same time, each is pulling in a somewhat different direction. It’s easy for any of the members to fell misunderstood or ignored.

Bill often accuses his team members of ”dragging their feet” when it comes to making decisions and taking action.

Tom accuses Bill of moving too quickly and can’t understand Karen’s and Jeff’s lack of interest in the details surrounding the opportunity.

Karen doesn’t understand Bill and Tom’s” fascination” with the details or Jeff’s “whining” about how “so and so” will feel.

Jeff has a hard time understanding how any opportunity development strategy – based on facts or intuition – can be formulated, much less initiated, without first considering with whom you will interact.

Can you relate? If you’ve managed salespeople for any length of time, some of the attitudes – preferences for thinking and acting – and the problems they create will sound familiar. Unless channeled appropriately, these different preferences can be a roadblock to productive activity.

What can you do?

To turn potential roadblocks into building blocks, you must understand – and help your sales team understand – that each person’s preference (including your own) is neither right nor wrong; neither good or bad. It is simply part of one’s personality makeup and most importantly, each has value. Let me repeat that, each has value.

Your interaction with your team must reinforce the notion that each preference can make a valuable contribution to the understanding of a situation and help determine the most appropriate course of action – but only if each person is open to the ideas and views of his or her teammates and is willing to give them unbiased consideration. With the proper coaching and encouragement, and by taking the lead and carefully orchestrating your sales meetings and individual communication with your team members, you can establish an environment where that concept can flourish.

Imagine Bill, for instance, resisting the urge to jump from facts to action long enough to consider Karen’s hunches and sense of the big picture. Both can also pay attention to Jeff’s concern about how the various decisions will affect the people involved in the process. And all three can give Tom some time to think things through.

When you help your team respect and appreciate each other’s personality preferences, you open the door to improved communication, creativity, and productivity.


©Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected] or toll free at 1-866-645-2047

Read more Sales Meeting Minute articles


About the Author

John Glennon is an authorized licensee of Sandler TrainingSM in the Interior of British Columbia.

John is an accomplished sales person and manager with over 17 years sales and sales management experience. Beginning in sales in 1990 as a sales representative, he progressed to territory manager, sales manager, division manager and national sales and marketing manager roles throughout his career.

In 1997, John became a student of the Sandler Selling System. This introduction changed his sales career and over time propelled John and his career to new heights.

Successful in accelerating growth through strategic leadership, John knows firsthand the value of a sales training approach that follows a learning philosophy of ongoing reinforcement. He is experienced in driving the behaviours, attitudes and techniques required of an effective sales team.

Sandler Training is offered on a regular basis from their Kelowna, BC training center and through innovative distance learning programs to the rest of the BC Interior.

[email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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