July 25, 2005
Problem: Mary Sue had contracted with a sales organization to Evaluate her sales team. Numerous players in her team came back as average or below average including Billy Bob. Billy Bob had read a few sales books, attended a class or two on sales, and has listened to some sales tapes. As Billy Bob began to compare his results none of this education seemed to be working. In fact Mary Sue had several on her team facing the same dilemma of failure to execute on what you know. They were all beginning to make excuses and complain about the results they were getting. It seemed the only things they could discuss related to whining, blaming, pointing fingers, victim thinking and procrastinating. Click here to baseline you or your sales team on how well low levels of responsibility is taking over and preventing extraordinary results
In this got have it yesterday world the pressure to produce results is great and we should all have high expectations. Never fall into the trap of the tyranny of low expectations. A point for consideration high expectations and unrealistic expectations are two different issues and we must be able to distinguish them. The media and pop culture we all live in exacerbates these unrealistic expectations by publishing stories regularly of people who become overnight success without paying their dues like most people. People become programmed that if they are not overnight success they are experiencing failure. Both the companies like Mary Sues and the sales people like Billy Bob begin to abandon their goals and dreams. A sense of failure starts to take hold, people either give up or move on. This downward spiral is not productive. What is needed is a more focused, structured and dedicated effort to grow the behaviors and selling skills of each individual on the sales team.
Start with this premise there is no such thing as instant success in selling and or growing a business. Achieving excellence is an on going process. Even if you hire A players some structure and a system must be in place for them to succeed. For any sales organization it begins with a desire by each sales person to accomplish something significant or extraordinary and it demands patience and persistent pursuit of excellence during the process. Mary Sue started with Billy Bob who was instructed to create a picture or written description to remind himself regularly of what his goals are and his plan to achieve it. Next the WHY has to be greater than what or no conviction will be created. Here is the secret; you measure true conviction, the WHY by not just thinking about or writing your dreams or goals down to review but by TAKING ACTION TOWARD YOUR DREAM EVERY DAY. Action must be taken on two fronts. The first action area is improving your mind set /believes by mastering the skills below each of the 21 Sales Competencies for salespeople
The second executable activity any sales person must do which moves you
on the path to sales stardom will be to build something akin to a prospecting
plan. This plan will outline things such as numbers of daily outreaches,
appointments, advances and the other behaviors that will eventually lead
to sales success. Most truly successful companies will initiate a pipeline
report each week to keep sales people focused on that plan. These two
things have to be done simultaneously. In other words you have to accept
ownership that any sale that was lost was your responsibility not the
price, not the economy, nor the competition. While the realty is this
will be uncomfortable; tolerating failures on the road to success and
using failure as positive learning experiences is a must. It is up to
sales leaders like Mary Sue and owners of companies to make this leaning
culture part of the process. The question Mary Sue and other sales leaders
need to ask is what is the most effective way to set up a structured learning
program to close the skills gap in order to receive those extraordinary
results? You may start by reading this white paper titled:
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