7 STAGES OF RECOVERING SALES LEADERSHIP
“The Quarter didn’t go as planned.”
1. NEGATIVE OUTCOME
The Recovering Sales Leader often reacts to missing their numbers (The Negative Outcome) with shock and denial.
The denial allows them to cling to Hope as a strategy – as in “I hope that if I refuse to accept it, it won’t be true”.
As a strategy, it also helps the recovering Sales Leader to avoid dealing with the full realization of what just happened.
As a Rule Of Thumb, this period of shock and denial often lasts until the Recovering Sales Leader must present the results and their Recovery Plan to the Board, or until they receive their End of Quarter pay stub.
Numbed disbelief…then, as the shock begins to fade, it’s replaced by unbearable pain, mingled with a liberal dose of guilt.
The guilt extends to include thoughts of the things the recovering Sales Leader did or didn’t do with/for their Sales team. The Recovering Sales Leader can often be overheard muttering sotto voce: “Did I pay enough attention?”, “Did I provide the team with the right guidance and coaching?”, etc.
This stage conjures plenty of scary feelings and inevitably, polishing up the resume.
3. ANGER & BARGAINING
At this stage, the Recovering Sales Leader begins to exhibit some of the Type-A personality that makes them a competitor. As the guilt and self loathing subside, they are replaced by the question, “Why is this happening to me?”.
The Recovering Sales Leader begins to lash out, with their head on a swivel, looking for people and places to lay blame for their miss. The usual suspects in the Blame Game list include – The Unreasonable Boss, The Never Do Well Sales Team, The Slow-To-Act Legal Department, The Never-Gives-Us-Enough-Good-Leads Marketing Department or The Always Ridiculous Budgeting Process.
While this is a time to release pent up emotion, it’s a good idea for the Recovering Sales Leader to be careful not to do or say anything that they’ll live to regret. It can be awfully difficult to keep your dignity while trying to extricate both of your feet from your mouth.
This is also the stage where the Recovering Sales Leader will often try to bargain their way out of the situation – “I promise that I will never drink again, if you just give me a do-over on last quarter”.
Well, why not? This is a Sales Leader we’re talking about and it’s in their blood to negotiate.
4. DEPRESSION, REFLECTION, LONELINESS
Now the Recovering Sales Leader realizes the extent of their loss at missing the quarterly numbers. The Recovering Sales Leader begins to isolate themselves as they are consumed by their feelings of despair. The Recovering Sales Leader begins to wonder out loud: “Why do I do this?”, “Maybe I should just go back to being a rep – I’d make more money, work a lot less and my time would be my own.”, etc.
The Recovering Sales Leader’s teammates, family, and friends try to pull the despondent, Recovering Sales Leader out of their funk. But, truth is…they should just let the Recovering Sales Leader chill out, because the next stage means that everybody is going to have to work harder.
So if you are on this Sales Leader’s team, enjoy this stage while it lasts.
5. HOPE (REAL HOPE….THE UPWARD TURN)
Uh oh! The Recovering Sales Leader makes the adjustment to accepting that they truly are behind The Quota Eight Ball, but they realize that they can do something about it. The Recovering Sales Leader decides that this is not a place he/she wants to be very often or for very long.
The Recovering Sales Leader becomes more organized and calm. The gleam returns to his/her eyes and although it drives the people around them crazy, the Recovering Sales Leader can be heard humming the Rocky theme song everywhere they go.
The gleam in the Recovery Sales Leader’s eyes becomes a fire and he/she sees realistic solutions to the challenges before their team. The Sales Leader meets with the other stakeholders to devise a strategy for success and the plan to carry it through.
7. CHOICE & EXECUTION
Get outta the way! We know what to do, how to do it and who needs to do it.
We have deals to close and behinds to kick.
Monday morning Sales Meeting is at 8:00 A.M., sharp!
Oh…and bring your up-to-date forecast.