Management Self Sabotage | September 2006
Inside Strategic Relations; September 1, 2006 Edition
From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request
Dealing With Management Self Sabotage
How is your customer loyalty? In the last lesson you learned about things your CRM system isn't doing that is costing customer loyalty — eliminating a few of those common mistakes will propel the results you'll create with your CRM system. I'm always interested in hearing about your results, write often.
If you are in the United States, I hope you've had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. You'll notice that I did all but forgot this edition of Inside Strategic Relations — well, not totally, I was just enjoying a little vacation, did you miss me?
**SPECIAL** My birthday is September 18. Click here and look for the “Secret Link” a birthday special and gift to you for list newsletter being late. Please do not share this gift with people outside your team.
More than a few times the 1st or 15th has fallen on a weekend or holiday, needless to say I don't work 7 days a week. What is your opinion about moving this newsletters release date to the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month? It's something I'm considering so you'll receive issues more regularly.
September is a month of hard work, the original labor day celebrations was to be a holiday for workers, but in my family growing up it was a day to get things done around the house. In this lesson, you'll discover critical sales and marketing management mistakes that once corrected will “put your economic house in order. “
In the next lesson, I'll blow your mind with several unusual ways to discover what your customers really want to buy and how to give it to them profitably. It's just one more insight that will help you get more from your sales and marketing teams. Until next time, strive to create results and dominate your market by implementing these powerful tools.
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Ps. So many have joined Applying Strategic Relations, and I didn't want you to miss out on your GOLD membership. For less than a cup of coffee a day, you can unlock proven tools that help you turn business relationships into profits. For details visit http://ApplyingStrategicRelations.com/ — you'll also find back issues of this newsletter completely indexed by an easy to use search feature.
Is Your Sales Team Performance Hurting Your Bonus And Cutting Your Personal Bottom Line?
By Justin Hitt, Sales and Marketing Advisor, http://justinhitt.com/
Almost every sales manager I meet is compensated based on his or her team's performance. They either receive a sales override or participate in a bonus program based on production levels. As much as these managers feel they are helping with the coaching of their team, many are driving down sales performance and cutting off themselves from growth opportunities.
Here are several facts and mistakes sales and marketing managers make that allow sales performance to fall, in some case, you'll discover how you're sabotaging your own personal bottom-line. You can't control, improve, or influence anyone's behavior as much as your own, these insights will help you turn around your team and help you earn what you deserve.
WARNING: Nothing here will help you overcome bad economics. If your compensation package stinks, there is nothing you can do with team productivity to improve a bad package. If that's your situation, be sure to request information about my audio series on selling compensation by writing SALES COMPENSATION IDEAS, PMB 6618, 2711 Centerville Rd., Ste 120, Wilmington, DE 19808.
The ugly facts about selling professionals:
- Your sales people aren't selling as much as they can. Every sales person finds the time to do their share of sulking, and many even stop selling for the dumbest reasons. Even seasoned selling professions have off days, unfortunately if not properly managed some of these days can go on for weeks.
- It's more fun to be creative than it is to be effective. This means your marketing team would rather turn out some “fun new” brand than be held accountable for materials that create sales. Most “creative” types openly resist working with the sales department because they don't want to be accountable in their creative pursuits.
- At least once a day you interrupt the selling process. As hard as you try to keep your team motivated, managers are interrupting sales productivity in ways that are completely avoidable. If you're that manager then you are working harder than you have to and aren't getting the results you deserve because of it.
Both sales and marketing teams are included in this category of “selling professional” because they are BOTH responsible for driving new business. Marketing create leads that selling closes, both teams must work together for maximum results. That means sales and marketing management need to learn to communicate with each other as much as with their own teams.
Are you making these mistakes in your sales and marketing management? Don't be surprised if you are making one or two of these mistakes every day, they are common and often even reinforced by some of those sales “guru's” — take this quiz to find out how many mistakes you're making:
- Do you make individuals responsible for sales performance, providing a simple way for each to measure their own production? Imposing goals and targets on others does not motivate them. Often individuals are harder on themselves when it is left up to them to determine their own performance targets. As a manager, you provide guidelines, and then work with each individual to setup personal objectives that hold them their own numbers.
- Are you measuring actions that influence results, or just looking at the results? Looking at just results is like trying to drive looking only out the rear view mirror, it doesn't take into consideration what turns in the road are coming and what's necessary to get where you are going. In selling there are certain actions that each successful sales person performs that contributes to desirable results, when sales people take the right actions they are guaranteed the right results.
- Do you work from clearly defined goals and objectives? It's next to impossible to hit a target you cannot see, or even worse, a target that changes every couple of weeks. Post your sales objectives in a few specific statements on the wall of your sales meeting space, measure them daily, and they will guide every aspect of selling activity. Goals and objectives combined with deliberate actions create a road map to the results you desire.
- Are you using sales motivational psychology or are you still trying to be their high-school sports “coach”? The contrast in skills required for coaching a high-school team and a professional sporting team is so far apart that it should be obvious to everyone. To motivate selling professionals you need skills that take into account personal motivators, individual desires, and communications skills based in psychology. Most of what is taught today doesn't to begin to touch on what is known about motivating adults.
- Is your sales compensation program up to par and is it rewarding desired behaviors, or are you just meeting industry standards? It doesn't matter what's standard in your industry, if you want top performers, you need a compensation program that rewards top performance. So many sales people lose motivation daily by their lack of understanding of existing programs, poor programs that don't reward what is being asked of them, and outdated compensation programs that just don't keep up with individual desires.
- Are you making it easy for individuals to measure their own performance, compensation, and objectives; or are you keeping those details a mystery? Self directed performance indicators provide a stronger level of motivation and personal responsibility than any sales management method available today. Making it easy for individuals to manage themselves makes it easier to identify and remove poor performers. Unfortunately, most sales and marketing managers feel they can best monitor and control their team's behavior through external means.
Take a moment to score yourself, see where you stand. If you are honest with yourself, you may find your hands tied on several of these issues. That's where you shift your role to advocate for your team and put in place the right tools for individual motivation.
Your customers are your sales and marketing teams, everything about your compensation is based on their performance (or should be). Your objective is to help them achieve and create the results necessary to drive overall company objectives.
Sales and marketing managers who create extraordinary results with fewer resources are those who minimize these mistakes in their management style. They let sales and marketing teams measure and direct their own behavior while holding individuals responsible for creating results that reach corporate objectives.
Unfortunately, more and more managers are making it harder for them to reach their own personal bottom-line; this self-sabotage is ramped and seeped with self-denial. Which of these mistakes do you see in your organization, and which of these mistakes are hurting your ability to receive the rewards you deserve?
© 2006 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
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Justin Hitt has more than two decades of experience transforming business relationships into profits for clients. Practicing risk and project management in high stakes environments. Featured in Six Sigma Magazine and Greater China CRM. Author of numerous books, reports, and training programs on strategic relations.