Pointing all your guns in the same direction
Getting the most out of a sales team can be a struggle. Even the best salespeople struggle to open doors even when qualified leads are presented. And management teams know that successfully incenting behavioral changes can be an elusive goal. Still some teams seem to get it right, and those that do almost always follow the same two simple principles.
- They ensure that BDMs have all the tools required to be successful
- They hold each salesperson responsible for the achievement of assigned goals
We all understand the concept of accountability, even if sometimes we have a hard time delivering on it. But what on earth is “tools required”? It’s more than a CRM, or an targeted comp structure but those things are on the list. The actual list of tools required is EVERYTHING we, as managers, have at our disposal to influence behavior in a desired direction. And when all are lined up, behavior is guided salespersons are better prepared, and holding people accountable becomes much easier.
What is in our control?
The list of everything can be long, but here is the top dozen:
- Shared Common Goals – the single most powerful tool at a manager’s disposal. More on this later.
- Compensation – a program which favors the behavior we desire and penalizes all others.
- Incentives – perks which support the behavior we desire in a nonmonetary way.
- Reprimands – pointing out (privately for god’s sake) when an employee does not live up to expectations.
- Culture – one that is psychologically safe and encourages sharing and ideation. It is the size of the pie that matters, not the size of the slice! When the pie grows, everyone’s slice can grow also.
- Training – Ensuring the team has all the skills needed to hit their goals.
- Process – process removes confusion from sales and allows greater focus on the relationship.
- Tools – CRMs, Pricing tools, technology, fashion consultants – whatever they need to maximize their efficiency and eliminate friction.
- Performance measurement – count everything and show it over time and relative to success.
- Core values – This is 50% of why people stay or leave. The trinity of Trust, Honesty, and Accountability is a good start. More on this tomorrow.
- Reinforcement – When someone does a great job, let it be known!
- Expectations – Salespeople will pursue exactly the goals they are given. When management is clear and desired numbers are written, incentives align.
If the world wants the product you sell, and all guns are pointing in the same direction, the team will hit its target.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. Make sure you read the ones that accompany it, and please use the comments to tell me what you think or to share your experiences. In tomorrow’s post, I will talk about a couple of the items on this list that have significant power.