My parents were both blessed with a green thumb. My mother recently completed a certification to be a Master Gardener (Who knew that even existed). But I tell you this because gardening has a strong correlation to sales. No, really it does. Let me tell you a story from the Bible: Luke 13:6-9. “He spoke also of this parable; a certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bears fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” I am not going to start preaching to you but this parable in the bible can be equated to sales.
Many sales managers only look at the fruit (sales) produced by the fig tree (Sales Professional). Much like the vineyard owner in the parables, if the fig tree is not producing fruit, they want to cut the tree down. As a sales rep, if you do not produce enough fruit, you will be cut down.
I challenge you vineyard owners to look at this parable and act more like the gardener in the story. You see what a good master gardener knows is that if you need a fig tree to produce figs, you have to dig into the root area and fertilize. You see if you can cultivate the roots and help them become stronger with the right fertilizer that will help the tree become more fruitful. Sales managers need to break up the soil around the roots of their sales professionals and provide the fertilizer that their sales professionals need to be able to produce fruit. You see if your roots do not do the job needed by the tree, then the fruit will not come.
So what are the sales roots? Mainly this is your activity. How many calls are you making, how many meetings are you having? If the sales manager can assist the sales professional in making sure they are performing enough activities then we can help them bare fruit. The activity is making sure we have enough roots. But if a sales manager really wants to help the tree increase its fruitfulness, then we need to provide coaching and support that will help the sales rep produce more sales.
Sales managers, before you cut a tree down, ask yourself if you have provided enough fertilizer to your fig trees to help them maximize the amount of fruit they can produce.