Yesterday, we discussed whether you can really get salespeople to change. I mentioned that the key rule was #9, Consequences, and that I would discuss consequences today.
There are three primary ingredients to having Consequences.
- You must make the consequence very clear to the salespeople as in, "And I want to be very clear about the importance of this. Anyone who fails to comply - who doesn't keep the CRM up to date - will face serious consequences. Let me detail exactly what those consequences will be..."
- The consequence must be significant enough for a salesperson to avoid at all costs. There are levels of consequences, depending on whether it is a first-time offense or a repeat offense. You might not reimburse a first-time offender for cell, gas or entertainment expenses. Your consequence for a third time offender might be termination.
- You must, no matter how uncomfortable it is for you, follow through. It only takes one false promise of consequences for your salespeople to ignore the threats in the future. Just one! Think about this concept with children. "I'm warning you, if you don't finish your dinner you can't have dessert." And then, ten minutes later, "Alright, just have two more pieces and you can have ice cream." That is called training and surprise, surprise, it's not the child that is getting trained, it's you. You are being trained to give in. The child, a very quick learner, has already been trained and it only took one time. Ignore the threat of consequences because it is simply a bluff.
Every day we hear from Owners, Presidents, CEO's VP's and Sales Managers who are frustrated that they can't get their salespeople to comply with something. I provided the CRM example because that is simply the easiest to solve. When you can't get them to hunt for new business and new opportunities, you'll need more than consequences in your tool box. The issues preventing consistent prospecting run much deeper and they must be identified before they can be overcome, coached to and penalized.
Will the proper use of consequences help you with simply compliance?