Core values are the most powerful tools in your belt
In this series, we are talking about getting the most out of your sales team by establishing common goals, pointing all things that have an impact in the same direction, and holding everyone accountable. But when we talk about everything pointing in the same direction, a few of the things in our control have special significance. These are your most powerful tools.
Shared goals. They can take many forms including account growth, retention, speed of closing, and new business development. I liken these to the Eiffel tower, a destination in the distance that we can always lift our head up and see to ensure we are heading in the right direction. But they are also powerful motivating tools. We all know that sales guys are competitive and will strive to maximize their performance. However, what makes a professional athlete happier, achieving his personal best or winning the championship. Andre Dawson won the MVP in 1989 while playing for the last place Cubs, but he would trade that award for a World Series Ring in a heartbeat. Fortunately, being part of a team chasing a shared objective allows individuals to follow their personal interest and participate in the excitement of team victories.
Honesty as a Core Value. When you are not honest with your staff, they know immediately, and they create a narrative as to why you are lying. These explanations often veer towards the extreme and lead to speculation about impending lay-offs, interpersonal affairs or loathing, or illegal activities. Always answer honestly, and if there is something that is proprietary to the executive team, just say that isn’t something we are talking about right now if asked.
Consistency. Advancing from a manager to a leader is hard and one of the things it requires is consistency of message. All the things I talked about yesterday (concepts) and will talk about on Friday (examples) need to be done every day – and many times every day. If there is a shared common goal (and there always should be), it should lead and end every discussion you have with your team. You will hold your people accountable if you want to succeed, but you will also do it all the time – privately and in front of the team. Everyone must know that what you expect of them is the same thing they can expect of their peers.
I am a big fan of Core Values having experienced how powerful they are when brought to a team that was working without them and over time I may add to this list.
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 the pitfalls managers encounter when they try to control things over which they haven’t any power.