In the last month, we discussed the importance of bringing the team you have how to find top performers and match their skills to the position in hand, and particularly, hiring based on the possibility of growth than previous experience. While having the best team members is a good start, as we are aware, bringing them together is just the beginning. It’s the next step that decides whether or not you have succeeded or failed.
The majority of people in the US sports world today are discussing the possibility of basketball stars like LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade joining one team. The Miami Heat is a TEAM; however, it is the teamwork that will decide whether they will succeed or not. Are they able to work together? Are they able to engage with their group of support players? The coaching staff will be able to use strategies that maximize their capabilities and allow the players to meet their goals?
Good to Great
As a coach, Phil Jackson said, “Good teams are great when members trust each other and are willing to let go of the Me to The We.”
Not just that, exceptional performers require the support of skilled leadership and efficient methods.
In business, just like with sports, trust begins at the top, and collaboration (which cannot function effectively without trust) is vital to achieving success. Businesses that “win” establish an environment of achievement from the top down. They recruit with confidence and expect to see results, and they ensure that their requirements are clearly stated. They seek out the best performers, set real-world and quantifiable performance standards, and provide regular feedback in two directions. They provide continuous education, not just on company/product knowledge as well as sales strategies, relationships, and the tools that are required for CRM, but also on helping every team member to understand more about themselves, the strengths they have, and their weaknesses. In essence, they create an environment in which “we” matters more in comparison to “me.”
Empowerment Through Systems
Top sales firms also provide their sales teams with a transparent and established sales process that is clearly communicated to serve as a basis for enforcing sales discipline.
The sales process functions like game plans – the details may change between weeks or from client to customer; however, the overall goal and the steps to take to achieve that goal are the same. How can a competent coach draw the game plan without first evaluating his team members and his opponents and analyzing the match-ups, and adapting his technique to suit the situation?
Before you can outline your sales strategy before you outline your sales process, you must know your target market and be aware of your need. Know what you are good at. Find out where you can get assistance. (This isn’t always straightforward. If you’re experiencing difficulties, it is possible to review your company with an independent eye or even hire an outside consultant who has the tools put in place to accomplish this.)
With this knowledge and experience, you’ll be able to tailor your efforts to get the most effective outcomes. You’ll be able to identify where your efforts aren’t working. You’ll be able to define the variables you’ll use to gauge the effectiveness and activity. You’ll have a general notion of the time it takes to get an item through the sales pipeline and also any training that can help decrease that amount of time.
An article from 2006 in the Harvard Business Review article “The New Science of Productivity and Efficiency of Sales Forces” highlights that the most effective sales managers use a system that “puts systems in place to facilitate selling and selling and not relying on intuition and natural sales talents-the traditional characteristics of the rainmaker, but also information, analysis, processes and tools to expand the boundaries of markets and improve the productivity of sales teams.”
The authors assert that “in the current selling environment, it’s not enough to just rely on your top reps and hope for the most effective.” They recommend that any company seeking to increase productivity must implement a methodical approach consisting of targeted offers, optimized Automated Procedures, Tools as well as Performance Management, and SalesForce deployment.
Measuring For Success
A scorecard system is one method to tie all this together: a scorecard for the company to look at the market and the business itself for a clearer view of the playing field—a scorecard for each player to evaluate the players.
Sales, precisely one of the best ways to measure the results, is to use dollars. But when you evaluate only monetary outcomes, you aren’t able to see the whole picture. One of the most important aspects is the ability to quantify the effort. Sales are often an exercise in numbers. Rejection is an integral element of the process. This is why the scorecard for each individual should be able to measure important indicators, as well as the results, when you look at the activity metrics that can be quantifiable to measure the level of effort and efficiency. Your reps and you will be able to conclude each week with a clear picture of what was achieved. What number of phone contacts were placed? What was the number of conversations that took place? Did all the required reports get completed?
Flexibility Through Structure
A structured process allows you to distribute information swiftly, particularly in a constantly changing market. One of the advantages of a well-planned plan is that if it goes incorrect, the procedures can be in place for you to detect it’s wrong. You are able to take a step back, review and change course midstream when needed.
The late Tom Landry once said, “I do not believe in team motivation. I believe in having an entire team set up, so it is confident that it will have the confidence needed when it is on the field and is prepared to play an effective game.”
Make sure you have the right plan, practice to be successful, and create the conditions for success.