When speaking with a Sales Leader last week they were clearly unsettled at the prospect of having a ‘work-from-home’ policy enforced on them. In their own words ‘the Nightmare scenario’.
They said, “I can’t trust my people to stay focused. They’re going to start slacking.”
“Why?” I said.
“People do when they are ‘Working from home’, don’t they?” they responded.
“They might. But only if you do….” I replied.
Let’s be candid.
There are 6 key things you need to build a highly effective organisation.
But, what do you need to build a highly effective remote organisation? It doesn’t change, does it?
• If you have No Plan your people are already slacking off.
• If you have hired People you don’t trust, you are in bigger trouble.
• If People aren’t clear about their Position and what they are supposed to be doing, put your head between your legs and brace for impact.
• If you don’t have clear Process to follow, buy some ‘lucky’ heather.
• If you don’t have a system of Accountability powered by clear Performetrics, start looking for a four-leafed clover.
• Lastly, if you cannot maintain the Passion in ‘tough’ times, then it wasn’t real in the ‘good’ times.
Here are 5 things you can implement as a Sales Leader
1: Set clear expectations and maintain high accountability
‘If nobody knows what they are doing, then nobody knows what ‘they’ are doing’
As a Leader it is 100% your responsibility to give clarity on expectations and maintain a system of accountability that keeps everyone on track towards individual and collective goals. Ask yourself.
• Do your team know what the Plan is?
• Does your team work to that Plan?
• Do your team know their individual responsibility within that Plan?
• Do they know what is expected of them?
• Do they know what they are accountable for and to whom?
• Have your team committed to that Plan?
• Do your team execute the Plan independently and with a commitment to excellence?
• Do your team offer candid feedback on the Plan and their performance?
• Do you offer your team candid feedback on the Plan and their performance?
2: Start having a Daily ‘Stand-up’ – (1st 15 minutes)
It’s far too easy to become a ‘Water-Cooler’ Leader when your team are all around you. Dipping in, asking unexpected questions on unprepared people.
‘Stand-ups’ can be incredibly valuable as part of a Daily Accountability rhythm. But they must serve a purpose beyond ‘What did you do yesterday? And, what are you doing today?’; (Yawn!).
As Leaders we are responsible for keeping the metronome swinging and ensuring everyone follows the rhythm.
Focus your Stand Up on the following things.
• Victories – What successes did you have yesterday? What did you do that worked well?
• Insights – What are we seeing in the marketplace? How are our Clients/Prospects fairing?
• Problems – What challenges are we facing? What can/are we doing to overcome them?
No ‘fluff’. No ‘rat-holes’. No ‘deep-diving’.
Just a regular, consistent, focused session.
3: Maintain your daily rhythm of behaviours
Accountability should always be key.
Do your team have clarity on the daily rhythm of behaviours?
Are they prospecting? Do they have a healthy prospecting mix?
OK, perhaps Networking and Expos are out of the mix for now.
People are going to be stuck-at-home, near a phone. We should focus on increasing our P.U.T.Ting average. Picking Up the Telephone.
People are going to be stuck-at-home, right in front of their laptop. We should focus on increasing our digital Connections, converting those connections to conversation.
eMail has its place, when used sparingly and smartly.
4: Clean the Machine
Let’s face it your CRM system could always use a ‘spring-clean’.
Take this time to tidy up your CRM system.
Clear out the Cupboard of those dusty Pipeline entries that are never going to close.
Update all existing, live, Pipeline opportunities to reflect an accurate Stage in the Process, Value, Probability of Close%, Next Steps (or set them, where there isn’t one).
Update Contact information in your existing Prospects. Add additional contacts and contact information from the wider business within your Prospects.
Create new Suspects lists for you to start making connections with and starting conversations with.
Look at Lost Opportunities from previous months. My bet is you didn’t stop and learn lessons from them, you soldiered straight on. There are more strong, positive, indicators of future success when you learn the lessons from past failures.
5: Commit to Personal Development time
So, you’re a Sales Professional, huh? A Leader? A Manager?
How many hours a day do you spend developing your Attitude, Behaviours and Techniques?
None? Not unusual.
True Professionals make a lifelong commitment to excellence in their field.
They invest a significant amount of time learning, practicing, getting coaching, being mentored.
They know that to stay at the Top of their Game they must constantly evolve their understanding of their chosen subject or skill.
Professional Sportsmen practice, practice, practice the same ‘plays’ repeatedly. Why? So, when that crucial moment comes in the game, they are ready to execute those ‘plays.
Tools like Sandler Online offer Sales Professionals a ‘treasure-trove’ of world-class Leadership and Sales development.
How many hours a day do you spend improving yourself?
These 5-things are essential to the successful rhythm and performance of a Sales Force. Whether it’s around you. Or working remotely.
Whatever happens in the coming weeks will be somewhat out of our control.
These words, spoken by an Olympic Gold-Medal winning Canadian Rower once shared with me, resonate, every single day.
‘Focus on what you can control’; he told me.
That’s what I’m going to be doing?
Keep well. Keep selling.