Look at these disturbing sales statistics:
Why are these sales problems so persistent?
A major cause is the dependence on random "usual fixes" which are based on assumptions, the past, gut instinct and wishful thinking. The usual fixes include sales training, sales contests, new logo/brochure, compensation plan change, letting go of the sales manager and/or reps, putting everyone on a PIP, asking for more leads, sales calls and proposals.
These usual actions tend to have limited overall value because they do not recognize the process that is creating these problems.
Dr. Myron Tribus said it best at a conference that I had attended in Atlanta:
"Sales results occur, good or bad, because a process is in place producing them.
The more defects or breakdowns you have in the process, the poorer the results!"
Adapted from Dr. Myron Tribus, Former Director,
Center for Advanced Engineering Study, MIT
So, What is the Better, Profitable Alternative to "Usual Fixes"?
Sales and Marketing Initiatives must be led. It is a leadership process because you are going from an “as-is” to a “future” state which is a process that requires the leadership behavior of managers as reinforced by surveys, reports and research.
Without leadership, teams and individuals flounder, lose enthusiasm and do less than quality work. Without leadership, initiatives do not reach their full potential and many initiatives die on the vine. Without leadership, initiatives become a joke in the organization with phrases like, "Here comes another flavor of the month!"
Leaders lay a firm foundation for results. We call it the ACT formula – Accountability, Commitment and Trust. These are the behaviors that the leader must model.
This helps to form the results culture of the organization. When the leader is accountable, they rise above circumstances, they own issues and problems, they are proactive, they make decisions and take action and they take extra steps to get a result.
When they demonstrate commitment, they have laser-like focus, contagious passion and perseverance (sometimes called "grit").
The leader knows that their words and actions become either trust-building or trust-eroding. If the team does not believe in the messenger, they don’t believe in the messages! If the managers wants to lead the manager must be open, demonstrate integrity and honesty, do the right things (even if no one is watching), share information and direction, show respect and be dependable.