Feed the Tigers: Engaging your Top Performers

Written by HNI Content Manager | Tue, Mar 29,2011 @ 01:42 PM

CEO, Sitkins International

Larry Linne is the CEO of Sitkins International and the creator of the Noise Reduction System. This post was orginally published on his blogReposted with his permission.

When I was a Sales Manager I learned the concept of FEED THE TIGERS from a fellow Sales Manager in Seattle.  He said he “feeds the tigers, tends the sheep, and kills the dogs.”

I immediately applied that concept with our organization.  For me, that meant to create every opportunity possible to help my true sales people sell as much as possible each year.  The sheep could stay and we would support their success as long as they didn’t get in the way of the tigers (you know what happens if a sheep gets in the way of a tiger…).  The dogs (though a harsh term) were people that were fighting the system, were not performing, and were not effective.  The concept we used with them was that we provided training and opportunity, but if they didn’t get it… well… kill the dogs.  We treated them like adults and helped them find another career.

So, we have to lead our sales people (true sales people) to SELL.  How can we be maximizing the opportunities for our Tigers?  How can we find Tigers?  How do we lead our organizations to obtain the growth necessary to internally perpetuate for multiple generations?

We can feed the tigers, obtain tracking systems, expand our products, coach, mentor, train, encourage, have better meetings, and a plethora of other things.

Which areas of sales leadership pose the biggest challenges for your business?

Comment below and let us know where you think your industry needs more training, intellectual capital, or support to increase sales.