Hamilton Business Operations: Setting the Bar Higher As a Top Sales Manager
Author: Ralph Burns
I just love the "corporate sales buzzwords" don't you?
Some of my personal favorites:
"We need to start thinking outside the box"
"Let's take a deeper dive on that..."
"We need to give it 110 percent!"
"Let's create a win-win for the customer"
"It's all about change management"
"Let's take that offline"
"At the end of the day..."
"Let's produce some strong organic growth"
And my personal favorite:
"We need to set the bar high"
I once heard an expression that stuck with me on the use of profanity in speech. I may not have it exactly right, but it goes like something like this:
"The use of profanity is the work of a feeble mind trying desperately to express itself"
I do have to admit, I do swear a bit...but I never (any more) use cliched corporate sales "buzz words" in front of my sales team.
I only use them in front of any one who's above me in the organization, like my boss's boss or my boss's boss's boss...you do have to play the game a little bit to survive in the corporate world, after all.
However, just like the use of profanity, the use of "sales buzzwords" in front of one's sales team is: "the work of an uninformed mind trying desperately to express itself above the din of the corporate world".
It's ineffective and not recommended for usage.
As you may have guessed, I'm not one for corporate cliches, sucking up, climbing the ladder and the like. Curiously, in spite of that, I have turned down multiple offers for promotion and never took any of them (more on that story in later course material). So as a sales manager, all I really want is to get my sales reps to produce big-time results, with minimal corporate fanfare and without sounding like a corporate automaton. For if you do use "the buzzwords", your sales executives will notice and you'll risk losing the trust you've worked so hard to gain.
After all, isn't it "explosive sales results" what we're after anyway?
In defense of the "corporate buzz-speakers", there is absolutely nothing wrong with "setting the bar high" when it comes to sales performance, performance management or in any endeavor you need to oversee as a sales manager. As a rule, it's a generally a very good idea to set the bar high, no matter what industry or position you are in. Of course it's a far better alternative than "shooting low".
Here's the problem, though: everyone is trying to "set the bar high".
And if everyone is "setting the bar high", does that mean that you should?
One of the pivotal themes throughout Sales Management Mastery is to not do the things that everyone else is doing. Superior sales performance comes as an outgrowth of doing things differently, being unconventional when everyone else is being conventional. Whatever you do, don't go along with the crowd, just because "everyone else is doing it".
If you do what "everyone else is doing" then as a manager of a bunch of salespeople, you'll get what precisely what everyone else is getting...namely average, mediocre, conventional sales results. And I doubt if you would be reading this course material right now if that's what you were really after.
So with all due respect to those who have ever used the "set the bar high" buzzword in explaining the direction of their sales team (myself included)...then this course is for you.
As you'll see, Sales Management Mastery is all about continually challenging your salespeople to reach higher than they think that they are capable of achieving. And because of the overuse of all the aforementioned "sales buzzwords" watering down the actual meaning of all these expressions, the expression "set the bar high", no longer has the punch it once did.
In this hyperactive world of getting top results in shorter periods of time, with information flying at you at light speed at all hours of the day and night, and corporate sales objectives becoming increasingly more and more aggressive, you as a top performing sales manager, need to buck the trend.
What you really need to do is to "set the bar higher" (notice the little "er" on the end of "high"). And by doing things differently, you'll have a base formula to produce superior sales results while separating yourself from your competition, your peers and those nasty corporate sales buzzwords.
About the Author:
Ralph Burns, a consistently top-performing sales manager with over 20 years of sales and sales management experience.