A significant percentage of the annual revenue for gyms occurs in January. By late February or March, you can stroll into most health club without lines and work out without interruption.
We all know why. People’s desire for fitness spikes with a New Year resolution but their commitment fades rapidly when the “pain” of doing the work becomes reality.
Salespeople suffer from the same problem. Whether it’s prospecting for new business, social selling, nurturing centers of influence or walking away from low probability opportunities, the majority of salespeople quickly slide back to their old ways.
While 70% of the lower half of salespeople have strong motivation, fewer than fifty-percent of that group have strong commitment. The next 35% see their commitment scores jump to 80%, but unfortunately, the percentage of salespeople who take full responsibility for any lack of performance is only 34% and 46% respectively.
This morning I spoke with a CEO who lamented this very challenge. In his case, a high percentage of new hires had failed to become productive. When I asked about sales leadership, he said they’re good at motivation but weak on accountability and managing behavior. In my experience, it is an absolute requirement to close the commitment and responsibility gaps.
Creating sustainable change in a sales force requires sales leaders to change what they do, how they do it and the frequency and cadence of the interactions with their salespeople. To accomplish this, CEO’s and presidents must hold their sales leaders accountable and provide them with weekly coaching.
Resistance occurs because change makes people uncomfortable. Doing what’s normal regardless of whether or not it is effective, feels right. This applies to everyone, executives included.
January is the preferred time to assess and reset.
Whatever your role, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What should I stop doing in 2019? This is possibly something you enjoy or feel productive doing.
- How can I get others to hold me accountable?
- How do we I / we raise our prices?
- How do I spend my time now? This must be as detailed as analyzing your credit card statement.
- How should I be spending my time?
- What specific metrics must I / we be held accountable to?
- What do I / can I do that has the most positive impact on the business?
- How do I spend more time doing this?
- Why did I / we not achieve more in 2018? Don.'t rationalize
- Which opportunities currently in the pipeline should be removed?
- In what areas do I need coaching?
- Am I committed to getting a coach, if not why?
We are all going to have good days and bad days. Our desire and commitment will vary depending on circumstances. Change will always feel uncomfortable at first.
I think we should ask ourselves, "am I really committed to being a better salesperson, sales leader or executive and what must I change to hold myself more accountable?"