February 2, 2022 Comments Closed

Start Focusing on Sales Behaviours

Posted by:CLIFTON WARREN onFebruary 2, 2022

Many firms mistakenly believe a good compensation program is the way to motivate professionals to achieve superior results.

Wrong. Compensation programs do not motivate; in fact, some can be de-motivators.

I speak with many professionals who don’t know about their compensation or about how it works. Worse still, I meet leaders who are unable to explain their own compensation in a simple way.

Behaviours, like the language you use in your business, define the way you do business, constantly reinforce your culture and hold people accountable.

Lagging or leading indicators?

Results are lagging indicators; they become apparent only after a shift has taken place.

Behaviours are leading indicators; they live in the moment and happen in real time.

When you are proactively monitoring and managing behaviours, you can quickly adjust plans and tactics to take corrective action if things run off course.

You don’t have to wait 12 months, then to look back to figure out what happened.

Focus on sales behaviours

Follow these 7 steps to manage your professional behaviours:

1. Identify 

Identify your key results – the two or three most important results areas. For many of my clients, these are: new business acquisition; retention of their top twenty clients; and rounding out (cross-selling) of existing accounts.

2. Measure

Measure the behaviours and activity required for achieving your objectives. For example, pipeline management (for suspects and prospects) is a key predictor of future sales success. This requires having a means of tracking the targeted activities. Top performers measure with a level of detail that allows them to understand what is happening.

3. Communicate

Communicate what success looks likes and the activity and behaviours required to achieve the objectives. For example, for key results areas – new business acquisition, retention and rounding out – behaviours include generating leads, getting referrals, servicing existing clients, identifying new opportunities, converting part-time clients and nurturing prospective clients.

4. Monitor

Continually and proactively monitor and manage your key results areas, so you can analyse gains and identify gaps in behaviours.

5. Identify 

Identify the reasons for your success from your gains and take lessons from your gaps in your key result areas. Determine whether gains or gaps are related to attitudes, motivations, knowledge or skills.

6. Feedback

Provide regular performance feedback by meeting your producers, individually, either weekly or monthly. Hold weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly sales meetings to discuss group performance. Give written feedback on performance to each and all of your producers; this can have the added benefit of simultaneously providing perspective on how the producers compare with their peers.

You can also use a combination of these methods, tailoring the frequency and means to the needs of each individual producer.

7. Help

When someone is falling short, find out why and provide help quickly. For some, this might mean coaching and training. For others, it could mean making changes to their sales focus or strategy. Some might need additional support or access to a technical resource to complement their strengths, or address areas of weakness.

Proactively managing behaviours is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to help seasoned veterans lift their game and enable new professionals develop the habits needed for success.

You cannot achieve through a sales plan; you can only achieve through activities and behaviours.

If you still want to have a compensation plan, go ahead with it. Just make sure you understand what’s required and make sure you can explain it simply.

Better still, shift your focus to behaviours and watch your results and your bottom-line grow. 

 

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