Transform from an 'Optional Culture'
I was recently participating in a training session designed to help transform the way sales organizations approach the business of client acquisition. The roomful of sales leaders and executives were very involved in sharing best practices, discussing specific opportunities and asking critical questions.
As the discussion progressed, the topic turned to holding the rest of our sales teams accountable to the discipline of activity and performance and eliminating an “optional culture.” A question was then posed to the group ... how do we ensure these expectations are carried out by our sales managers and sales reps? What a great question upon which to reflect!
Every day, we as leaders focus on the challenging task of evolving our sales teams and being demanding internal partners. But as we strive for excellence around transforming behaviors and results, are we holding ourselves accountable to making our communications “translatable” to our teams? We must do this in a way that keeps the focus crystallized on the most important daily habits.
Coach to Strategy - Paint the picture of what the “North Star” is in terms of the organizational vision.
- Are we focused on top line growth?
- Or more profitable revenue?
- Are we calling on the right accounts?
- Are we targeting the right buyer personas?
- Are we reaching the key decision makers and what matters most to them?
Maybe the strategy is focused on building a culture of discipline. At Butler Street, we often ask our clients this question - “If a year from now you said we delivered the best possible outcomes as your partner, what would we have accomplished?” We all should create a sales environment in which our salespeople understand what great looks like from a company perspective.
Coach to Activity - Define the specific activities that are expected from our teams every day, every week, every month.
- Are we defining what is most important - face to face meetings, phone calls, emails, social media networking, local networking, etc.?
- What is the minimum number of each required to achieve our “North Star?”
- Are they making enough outbound calls?
- Are they getting enough face-to-face meetings?
Establishing appropriate and realistic activity expectations and measuring them is critical to ensuring the ultimate vision of the organization is achieved.
Coach to Skill - If we are comfortable that our teams understand the overarching company strategy, and we have translated that vision into specific daily activity requirements, the last part of the equation is fine-tuning the skill areas where gaps exist.
- How well do our teams specifically understand our organizational value proposition?
- Are they planning for every client touchpoint?
- Do they keep their mindset in the customer’s operating reality?
- Do they truly understand the customer’s decision process?
- Do they have the ability ask effective questions and handle the accompanying objections?
Each of these coaching areas require dedicated focus from the top of the organization down. It is important that the training and onboarding processes include specific scripting, ongoing role practice between the salesperson and their manager, as well as continuous learning to ensure teams become more strategic in their approach and deliver results. If the culture is optional, the results are optional.
At Butler Street, with any potential client, we believe that “Prescription before diagnosis = Malpractice.” We specialize in helping companies and their people grow with a diagnostic approach to transforming results. If you feel like any of the above areas could use an expert perspective and perhaps your own transformation, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Contact us!