What’s got my knickers in a knot in London this week

This week while at the Sales Innovation Expo in London, I got my “knickers in a knot” (as they say over here) regarding a sales pitch being made by a trade show vendor.

Sales people are a pain to manage and they are too expensive!

Let’s be clear about a few things:

  1. Sales people hitting their targets should have an ROI of at least 10:1 and upwards of 100:1 per year when comparing their revenue requirements to their salaries. In other words, a seller making $100k should be bringing in a minimum $1,000,000, an average $2,500,000, and in some markets multiple 7 figures in revenue.  Do non sellers bring in that type of ROI?
  2.  With clear goals, KPI’s, and a formal coaching program, sales people are easy to manage and the best ones want to be managed. This structure provides tangible objective goals, transparent measurement, and predictable motivation. If you find sellers difficult to manage, you have a management problem not a seller problem. You simply have not created an environment conducive to sales management success.

While i’m ranting a bit….this was the first large scale tradeshow / expo I had been to in a number of years and I have found nothing has changed. The way a booth looks, is staffed, and they way products are demoed is exactly the way I did it 20 years ago. As selling and buying have evolved, should exhibits not evolve too?