Sales Lessons from Better Call Saul

Do you have any Slippin’ Jimmys on your sales team?

I admit it: I’m a fan of many AMC originals, and I am going to miss Better Call Saul tonight since the season finale aired last week. Last year I blogged about Mad Men’s Don Draper and the sales lessons he provides. Today I want to talk about the lessons you can learn from Better Call Saul. These lessons have to do with hiring and managing your sales team.

Background on Better Call Saul

Just in case you don’t watch the show, here’s the basic gist. Better Call Saul traces the evolution of James McGill into Saul Goodman, the shifty lawyer on Breaking Bad. James McGill is trying to get his life together after his brother bails him out due to his latest run in with the law. McGill is known to many in his hometown of Cicero, IL, as “Slippin’ Jimmy” because he fakes falls at businesses in order to scam a little “pain & suffering” money. Throughout season one, we see McGill struggle to become a better man who ultimately decides it’s easier to play dirty.

Separate Hustlers from Those with Hustle

Every sales manager wants to hire someone with hustle – a rep who will get in there and make sales happen. However, you need to be able to separate those who hustle from those that hustle others. The hustlers, our Slippin’ Jimmys, will work hard to make things happen – for themselves. They are the impostors posing as great sales reps. They are merely good at selling themselves. Don’t let these impostors upend your process or sales goals.

  1. Ask the right questions during the interview process to uncover fabrications and hyperbole.
  2. Have a sales process in place that all your sales people adhere to – no one gets to deviate from the norm.
  3. Perform quality assurance on new and underperforming reps to weed out the imposters.

Call Your Slippin’ Jimmys on Their BS

By BS I mean bad salesmanship, of course!

Every time you hear a rosy report from a salesperson who you think is underperforming, you need to be able to call them on it. Otherwise, you are complicit in the scam. You can set up a queue-based lead management solution that keeps sales reps on track. With a queue-based solution, your Slippin’ Jimmys will have only two choices: make the assigned sales calls or move on to the next grift.

A queue-based lead management platform is tough to scam:

  1. Management creates a standard, automated workflow that all sales reps follow in order to increase productivity and contact quality.
  2. Sales reps call the lead they are presented with – not leads they cherry pick.
  3. When a salesperson finishes a call and the call result is entered, he or she is presented immediately with the next, best lead. No opportunities for dilly-dallying.

Be a Mentor – Don’t Be a “Chuck”

When we begin getting to know James McGill, it seems as if his brother, Chuck, has really given him the motivation to turn his life around. While he still struggles a bit with his sense of right and wrong, he remembers that he doesn’t want to let Chuck down. Little does he know, Chuck had been letting him down for the past few years. Chuck doesn’t respect that his little brother has evolved from con man to lawyer. Chuck tells Jimmy that he’s basically a lowlife and would never let him join his law firm of Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill. Ouch.

Using real-time call activity dashboards, custom reporting, and call monitoring and recording, you can keep tabs on all your potential Slippin’ Jimmys. When someone tries to break protocol, use these tools to help coach and mentor those reps. If your Slippin’ Jimmy turns him or herself around, keep encouraging the good behavior. Don’t be unforgiving or doubting like Chuck.

Conclusion

Slippin’ Jimmy’s are a dime a dozen. A solid hiring strategy can help you filter out some of the riff raff; however, there are some imposters who will make it through. Protect your sales process and reform a few Slippin’ Jimmys with the right inside sales solution. Take a VanillaSoft free trial to see the difference it can make.

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