New Years, Commitment and the Sales Force

Posted by Chris Mott on Mon, Jan 07, 2019 @ 17:01 PM

new-years-resolutions

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?"

Topics: coaching culture, sales and sales management tips, sales productivity, sell more

What Happens When Sales Leaders Properly Use CRM

Posted by Chris Mott on Mon, Sep 24, 2018 @ 14:09 PM

Sherlock Holmes PIpe and Hat

Most companies design and execute sales process backwards. The problem is exacerbated by salespeople’s usage and adherence to process. Only 49% of salespeople in the 51st - 83rd percentile are strong in the Sales Process competency. Most of the A and B players are found in this group.

Having evaluated hundreds of company sales processes, one of the common big gaps is the lack of a key milestone for common fit.  That milestone should focus on what must happen in order for the company to do business with the prospect and what needs to occur for the prospect to want to do business with them.

In a recent client conversation about customizing their sales process I asked them to enter data for an in-process opportunity where the executives were on the call with the salesperson.

Before I summarize what they learned from this a little context is necessary. The opportunity was an introduction from someone the salesperson had done significant business with. The ultimate decision maker was the VP of HR. The company president, the salesperson, my client and the person who made the introduction were all in the meeting.

Here is the summary of lessons:

• The expectations for the meeting did not include potential outcomes;
• The President opened up about issues and challenges;
• They had apparent frustration;
• They failed to quantify the impact and frequency of the problems;
• The referrer shared openly;
• Little attention was paid to the real impact of the issues discussed;
• A relationship was created but only on a vendor level;
• They failed to discuss any compelling reasons to move forward;
• They did not discuss whether there was a commitment to solve the problems they uncovered;
• It was agreed the referrer would introduce my client to HR.

During post meeting follow-up, the referrer backed away from being an advocate because HR either does not think there is a reason talk or had limited information over what transpired.

The value from this exercise is not what the next step strategy should be, although defining this is critical and much easier having gone through the process. The value is in identifying what might have happened if the correct sales process was executed.

While the ultimate outcome can’t be predicted, following the right process could have resulting in the following:


• An agreement in advance that if there was a productive discussion either the President would introduce my client to the VP of HR or a meeting with them would be scheduled;
• By discussing the impact of the issues discussed the President could have built a case for about why they needed to make a change.
• If the President supported looking at new options, the referrer would have felt less exposed expressing their opinion post meeting;
• By having the President arrange the meeting with HR, the likelihood of HR feeling threatened could have been discussed in advance with the President and challenges dealt with in advance;
• A deeper and wider discussion with the President could have created a higher value relationship.

You are probably thinking, "I do this!" and I’m sure that sometimes you do. The question is, how frequently, how thoroughly, and most importantly, does your defined sales process force you into these kinds of conversations when you debrief yourself and your salespeople?

If you want to learn more about the most effective way to debrief and coach your salespeople, attend our best in class Sales leadership Intensive. This two-day program will help you improve your sales process, make you a better coach and help you build a team of higher performing salespeople. More information can be found here.

Topics: CRM Application, salespeople won't comply with CRM, sales process, effective sales coaching, shorten the sales cycle, sales productivity

How Sales Leaders Can Demonstrate True Vested Interest

Posted by Chris Mott on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 @ 12:10 PM

Walking_Through_Walls

The Hawthorne Effect says that people behave differently depending on who is observing them in a study environment. If you apply this to manager/employee interaction, it's reasonable to conclude that employees who feel supported, understood and cared about are likely to have a greater level of productivity.

World-class sales organizations pay great attention to the quality of the salesperson / sales leader relationship. In my post today, I discuss what it means for a sales leader to be Truly Vested in their people.

 

  

 

If you want to learn more about your sales force, click on the link below. It will help - honestly!

 

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Topics: sales management strategies, developing better sales teams, coaching salespeople, sales management core competencies, sales productivity

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