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Dumb Things That Sales Leaders Do!

– By Burt Levy

I have been so blessed in my career to work with the absolute best of breed when it comes to leadership.

Conversely, I’ve also had a taste of the worst of breed, and all the accompanies that. Simply put, it’s not good. It ruins people and destroys organizations.

Leadership is the least taught occupation that there is in the world, but it’s the occupation that transcends every occupation. 

Leadership is truly a responsibility not a rank. The leader(s) who realizes this and runs a company, in all likelihood will have a great corporate cultures, reflective of their vision.

Mediocre /poor leaders that run companies with poor cultures often hire other mediocre leaders. Other times mediocre leaders can infiltrate themselves into good culture companies. How is this possible? It’s possible because they possess a very unique skill set which is the ability to KISS UP, and KICK DOWN. They protect themselves by ingratiating themselves with people in power and exploiting those without it….and this is how poor leaders ruin companies. 

With that, allow me to present……. 

Dumb Things that Sales Leader Do 

  1. Bait and Switch The sales leader changes the compensation plan to drastically or retroactively reduce the compensation that’s actually paid, either while the sale is in progress or even after it’s taken place. The motivation for doing this is simple greed combined with a fundamental lack of respect for salespeople. This tactic is abysmally stupid, because it guarantees that anybody with real sales talent will leave the team. Over time, the bait and switch tactic generates a reputation so that the only people who’ll come to work there are the bottom feeders of the industry

  2. The Bully   The sales leader publicly or privately demeans the salesperson as a professional, as a person, and as a contributor when he or she doesn’t perform at the level the leader expects. The leader does this believing his/her behavior will motivate the salesperson to work harder, simply to avoid another unpleasant interaction. Unfortunately, this tactic removes the salesperson’s dignity & self-respect, making it increasingly difficult for that salesperson to sell. Fear is a terrible motivator. Fear is the way cowards lead. In the end, that salesperson and others will leave. The sales leader will now have to manage churn, and when you consistently manage churn, you never grow, and ultimately lose your job.

  3. The Horizon Shoot The sales leader sets ambitious targets, even though that he/she knows that the sales team cannot possibly achieve those numbers. This occurs when sales leaders are more concerned with what top management wants than with what’s actually likely to happen. Rather than doing their job and pointing out that top management is being unrealistic, the sales leader decides to comply, hoping for a miracle. When that doesn’t occur, both the sales leader and the team suffer. Usually, the sales leader is terminated.

  4. Teacher’s Pet The sales leader saves all the best leads for his or her top rep but sends the weak leads to the other reps … just in case they get lucky. The reasoning is obvious: The leader figures that the top rep is more likely to close business. However, this tactic eventually backfires when the top rep(s) leaves for greener pastures, the sales revenue drops, as mid-range talent has long since quit in disgust, leaving only weak non-performers.

  5. The Horserace The sales leader hires more sales reps for a territory than revenue from that region can support, then has the reps compete for the same business. The sales leader concludes that if there are enough horses in the race, one of them will win it. What happens is that the the sales reps step on each other by calling on the same people, making them and the company they represent, look confused and disorganized. This, in most cases drives business to the competitors.





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