Did you know you own your colleagues’ success?
I spent last week with a client sales team that was looking to improve results across their sales dashboard. In pursuit of diagnosing the issues, I found that everyone was working hard - each Sales Manager was busy all day, every day - but that the results were not what they wanted. In fact, I’d say more explicitly; each manager had a number of under performing sales representatives, and as a consequence, sales were down versus where they were expected to be in first quarter against the aggressive targets the company had set in a declining market.
During the course of the conversation, I asked the sales managers how often they got together and they said typically once every 6 months, with the rest of their time together being virtual.
We discussed what their in-person and virtual meetings looked like both as a sales team and also with their sales representatives. And there was the issue.
It’s not uncommon for sales Leaders and representatives to focus on their numbers. Let’s be realistic - it’s the measure of their personal success as well as the driver for business growth. But it’s also very transactional, and it doesn’t shift the conversation. If anything, it’s like banging your head against a brick wall - and it doesn’t reliably make it easier to achieve the intended results.
In presenting the co-elevation model, I asked where they thought they spent their time, and through the mapping activity we completed, they had candid responses from collaboration at the top end through to resistance and resentment at the bottom end.
And that’s where our discussion really started. I asked how we could expect change to happen when we had resentment and resistance in our team. I asked why we would expect the results to change when we had not done anything differently. And I asked whether they were doing all they could to enable their sales representatives to achieve greater results. The answers were a wake up call.
As our research proves time and time again, two key drivers really make a difference; coaching (including manager, peer to peer, expert, and communications) and the use of strong role plays.
So we discussed what it meant to co-elevate and we talked about the power of the Sales Manager community to be accountable not just for bigger outcomes, but also for using different behaviors to achieve these themselves and through coaching to their sales representatives.
And in the process of that discussion we came up with commitments to take action - consciously, deliberately, and differently - at the end of the week.
So here’s my question to you; do you own not just your own success, but that of your peers and the people who report to you? And if not, why not? You are your greatest resource, and as a team, you can go the distance and knock those targets out of the sky if you choose to. The only question remaining is this; will you choose to do so, or does the status quo meet your needs and the needs of your team and organization.