If Steve Jobs Designed Your Sales Team

by Chris Young

Is your sales team beautifully designed?

There is no question that Steve Jobs will go down in history amongst the greats - Alexander Graham Bell, Einstein, Thomas Edison, Frank Lloyd Wright, and others who served mankind by what they created and what they influenced. Is_your_sales_team_beautifully_designed.jpg

Steve Jobs did not negotiate when it came to design.

Are you negotiating with the design of your sales team?

Your legacy requires that you not negotiate.

To maximize sales tomorrow, you must be fully-committed to getting the design of your sales team right. And you will never be finished.

Committed CEOs and sales managers carefully design their sales teams through...

  • How salespeople are hired and onboarded.
  • Implementation and continuous improvment of the best sales processes.
  • Carefully shaping and zealously reinforcing the desired sales culture.


What does the current design of your sales team say about you?

What will your legacy be?

Does your sales team scream, "artisan quality"?

The following video will either blow your mind or make you yawn. The video is of a Charlie Rose interview of Jony Ive Senior Vice President of Design at Apple and industrial designer Marc Newson. If you are passionate about getting design right, you have to watch this video clip. I have several times. I want to expecially point out the following excerpt of a particularly powerful segment...

16:56 into the interview - Jony Ive shares...

"I think one of the things you get a sense of is the degree of care. How much did this group of people care to make this and make it right. And they didn't do it for themselves - it's in service to the people that are gonna use or buy their product. I think there is something - the humanity of that I think is extraordinary...

...How something's finished on the inside. You can argue that you will never see that but I think we believe and it is very difficult to explain why. Part of human condition, sense, care. Sometimes easier realize carelessness. We are surrounded by a manufactured enviroment - so much testifies complete lack which isn't whether know that's not about your attitude towards an object it's toward each other.

That sort of commitment or passion become fanaticism of really caring to get it right whether you see it or not."

Do your salespeople sense care?


Be unrelenting in getting the design of your sales team right.

Many CEOs and sales managers sacrifice their future for the "convenience" of what they can have right now.

It is convenient to say, "There aren't enough good salespeople available," and then continue to accept mediocrity.

We live in a high pressure disposable world of "I want it now! I want it now! I want it now!" (I have actually said that.) It is way, way too easy to go cheap - to go disposable. It is way too easy to put a band-aid on a problem to temporarily fix it. And way too many people do take the short-run approach. Artisans take the long-term approach. Design your sales team to maximize sales.  

The three greatest design challenges I see in sales include:

  • The wrong salespeople get hired - I see CEOs and sales managers hire salespeople too quickly knowing that 30 percent will be gone within 12 months and that 20 percent will be there longer than five years when they should never been hired in the first place. Most companies do not use a validated sales personality test as part of their hiring process.  Most companies would rather lose sales than hire right in the first place.
  • Salespeople decide if they want to use sales processes -I see CEOs and sales managers allowing salespeople to independently decide if they will use the company sales CRM. I see unnecessarily-complex legacy sales systems that need to be revamped or thrown out.
  • Sales cultures are poorly defined and not defended - I see CEOs and sales managers allowing low performers to infect the sales culture with mediocrity.

This happens because you, Mr. or Miss CEO, VP of Sales, or sales manager allow it to happen.

If Steve Jobs designed your sales team...

He would blaze a trail that others would use as an example. Then he would iteratively improve it. Tomorrow would be incrementally better than today. He would set the standard for the industry. Your competitors would poach your talent to figure out your "secret sauce".

If your sales team were truly a masterpiece of design, your salespeople would sense the care that goes into it. Your sales team could actually become a talent magnet of the best sales talent.

Now is the perfect time to clear your mind and capture your thoughts.  Then draw a line in the sand and stop negotiating.

My challenge to you in the coming year and beyond... Design carefully. Design your sales team, sales processes, and sales culture like Steve Jobs would.

You just need to decide.

Sales Personality Aptitude Test Sample Assessment