Do Your Problems Start With Sales?

posted by Greg VanDeWalker on Tuesday, January 03, 2017 in Unified Communications and IT Blog

If you have conflicting feelings about sales you aren’t alone. I have the opportunity to speak with hundreds of owners of IT companies every year, and while they know they need sales to survive, it is often the source of much of their frustration. The topics vary; sales hiring, sales training, sales activity, sales compensation…and on and on. The harsh reality of all this anxiety over sales is many owners are getting exactly what they deserve: mediocre results.

You may have clicked on this link in hopes of uncovering qualities of a successful sales rep or even how to train sales reps. That’s not this post. Instead, below are three things OWNERS can do to ensure the success of their sales reps...and ultimately their businesses.

Remember! It’s your company, not theirs.

Many owners of IT companies are from the technical side and sales seems like dark magic. I can promise you don’t need somebody like Luke Skywalker to lead your reps through the mystery of the sale and still come out on the light side. Because many owners lack sales confidence and experience, I’ve seen sales reps dictate what the compensation should be. If this is happening in your business today, stop it! Sales reps don’t have the responsibility of keeping the business running years into the future, but you do.

Use the carrot AND the stick.

The compensation plan should have an upside and a downside to structure. The IT space is evolving rapidly, and owners need to move quickly to keep the business relevant and profitable. Sales reps tend to resist change, and some might still be selling Windows 3.1 if they could make the same amount as they did when the technology was new. When change is needed in products or service model, your reps need to be motived positively to sell the new stuff and penalized if they focus on the old stuff.

Provide a map.

Although sales might seem like dark magic, it is actually more like science. Imagine a novice chemist trying to create a medication without any instruction. DANGER! Sales is made up of a repeatable process that can be monitored, measured and repeated; but you have to provide the map. If you don’t have a good sales process, there are programs in the IT Channel that can help you.

Just because sales is not your strength, you can still have a professional, highly motivated sales team. Start by implementing the three items above.


Related Content:

The Hybrid Business Model

Service Leadership - Creating Lasting Change Through Sales Compensation

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About The Author

Greg VanDeWalker, Senior Vice President, IT Channel and Services, is responsible for strategic vision and performance for the IT and Unified Communication financing business units as well as Collabrance LLC, the GreatAmerica master managed services provider. Prior to joining GreatAmerica in 2003, Greg was General Manager for the transportation division of US Bancorp in Denver, Colorado. He began his leasing career in 1991 with Business Credit Leasing (BCL) in sales and sales management. Prior to BCL, Greg was a tax accountant for Arthur Andersen & Company. Greg has served as Chair of the inaugural Managed Print Services Community of CompTIA, and on various advisory boards in the IT, Telephony and Office Equipment channels. Visit for company information or contact Greg directly at

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