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Create a Winning Sales Culture

Posted by adamvital

Emotional Commitment, Loyalty and Employee Engagement

 

An essential link between strategy and execution is people. Winning sales cultures understand and embrace this fact. In the following, I will offer a few thoughts on some of the practices that served me well in working with people to build a growth-oriented environment characterized by mutual respect, trust, & teamwork…

 

1. Build a foundation with honesty and integrity

It may be hard to share difficult news; however, being honest and forthright, even during tough times, is something the most trustworthy leaders learn how to do. Whether your company hasn’t met its goals and is unable to award bonuses this year, or you’ve decided to let go of a member of your team, or be it another important matter. Rather than putting off the difficult discussion, people will respect a leader who is able to openly explain the situation, take questions and give them the facts.

 

2. Be accountable and admit mistakes

While being transparent about bad news is difficult, admitting when it’s you who’s made a mistake can be even more difficult. You may be surprised to find that employees will like you more for it. Admitting mistakes actually makes you more human and may have you be more likable to others. Psychologists call this the “Pratfall Effect. Being able to admit to and take responsibility for your mistakes is a major part of being a good leader.

 

3. Treat employees like people, not numbers

In a competitive, fast-paced environment it’s easy to get lost in the numbers. If your success is based on meeting certain performance metrics, you might fall into the trap of seeing employees in terms of output achieved.

You don’t have to know all the details of your employees’ personal lives, but strive to get to know folks on an individual basis. Be committed to each employee’s personal development and have a good understanding of what your employees find most interesting about their current work, as well what are their longer-term aspirations. When employees know you are genuinely concerned about them as individuals, they’ll go the extra mile for you.    

 

4. Give due credit to your employees

As the team leader, you will often receive recognition from your peers and upper management for your team’s efforts. Make sure you express appreciation and acknowledge your team members for their hard work.

Studies show that those employees who receive recognition from their leaders are significantly more likely to trust them.

 

5. Demand excellence of your team and put yourself on the line for them

To gain trust, managers must be their team’s best advocate. People want to know that the leader will represent their best interests and has their backs. While you may have corrective actions and coaching for individuals, you must be fully accountable for your team’s performance.

 

6. Communicate often and ask for feedback

Provide a forum for open, two-way communications where employees can speak freely and candidly without fear. Furthermore, you must encourage and acknowledge valid, constructive feedback. And finally, it is essential that you use this information to implement positive improvements in the business.  

 

  This all sounds simple but in reality, consistent execution on the aforementioned items is challenging. Nonetheless, the benefits to your business in terms of employee emotional commitment and engagement are enormous: ownership and committed execution for increased growth, and happy customers.

 

For a brief discussion on this and other proven strategies to enhance your business growth, schedule an appointment HERE for a free 30-minute consultation! 


Create A Winning Sales Force: Inspire The Right Habits & Behaviors

Posted by adamvital

Create A Winning Sales Force: Inspire The Right Habits & Behaviors

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”  

– Vince Lombardi 

“If you want employees to feel appreciated, you need to celebrate their achievements regularly and publicly.”

– Logan Green, Co-Founder, Lyft

 

Let’s grow your business! In this article, we will outline a strategy for creating an environment of winning habits and behaviors necessary for generating business growth! 

Here’s a brief summary of the strategy: 

Strategic Goal:

  • Sustained strong sales performance

Enabling Objectives:

  • High achievement orientation 
  • Strong employee engagement  
  • Widespread collaboration and teamwork                                                        

Critical Success Factors:

  • Hire and retain good, capable people. 
  • Compensation, recognition, coaching and employee development, and disciplinary processes are to be aligned and managed in a consistent, effective and equitable manner.
  • High achievers (those who exceed sales objectives by 10-20% or more) are compensated in a financially prudent but generous fashion. Furthermore, they are to be recognized in an appropriate way. High achievers set the example for what leadership wants to see in each employee and therefore, the accomplishments of these individuals are acknowledged and celebrated by senior management. As a part of the recognition program, it is essential that top performers be encouraged, and provided with the incentive to share best practices. 
  • Committed, disciplined coaching and development. The management works with all employees but focuses on those mid-level performers who meet objectives but have the potential to grow into high achievers.
  • Fair but swift dismissal process for those employees who continue to underperform after a standard development cycle, or for those who have otherwise shown themselves as not being a good fit for a performance-oriented culture founded on achievement, teamwork, and collaboration.

 

Should you need assistance in developing and executing a strategy for a high-performance sales culture, if you are interested in a FREE CONSULTATION CLICK HERE!


How To Create a Winning Sales Culture with Employee Development and Good Coaching

Posted by adamvital

Create a Winning Sales Culture with Employee Development and Good Coaching

“As coaches, we equip people to be in touch with their best selves.”– Clyde Lowstuter,

A disciplined program for coaching is a key strategy to drive enhanced performance necessary for achieving and exceeding business growth goals on a consistent and reliable basis. When implemented properly, such a program ensures effectiveness, consistency and inspired execution.

Effective coaching brings out the best in employees, and is not just about imparting knowledge and helping them develop a skill-set (which is without a doubt extremely important); however, it’s much more encompassing. Instinctively, good coaches get to know people in such a way that they understand how to tap into unrealized human potential. In some cases, this is capacity or ability that perhaps the employee may not even know is within him/her. 

What I’m saying is that coaching is not just about teaching and cultivating skills. It’s much deeper and all encompassing. The kind of coaching I speak of also involves touching the heartsCoaching - Sales - Force of employees, thus laying the groundwork for inspired and significantly enhanced performance and execution.  

 Said differently, good coaches teach, guide and counsel but, more importantly, build special relationships. In other words these people not only teach but they get know individuals in such a way that they are able to put folks in touch with the best version of themselves.

And thus, here is a key takeaway for you:  You must demand that your sales managers not just be administrators that sit in their offices, analyze reports and give orders, but that they be actively engaged as reliable resources and coaches for their team members. When hiring and selecting your sales leaders this means, in addition to other key requirements for the job, you must find people that are passionate about helping others grow and develop. And, once you find these individuals, there must be a plan for their own ongoing development. That is, you must execute a plan for teaching them how to coach and help them to continue to hone those capabilities. It is critical that you, the business leader, will create the environment and provide resources and support to help sales managers do that.

Finally, you must inspect operations, on a regular basis (both planned and spontaneous), to ensure that employee development and coaching is a priority, and that it’s a meaningful, integral part of the sales management function. 

So, how do you find sales managers who are also good coaches? The fact is that in some cases you may find these kind of people through traditional recruiting and hiring processes, but in many cases you will need to develop them.  And, we can help you with both! With 20+ years of experience, we can help you with both selection and development of the right people for this key role in your business.

If you are interested in assistance, you may contact me at (281) 817-7391 or click on this link https://avbgs.com/contact to schedule an appointment for a quick discussion as to how we can assist your business.


Built on High Expectations for Performance | Creating a Winning Sales Culture

Posted by adamvital

Create a Winning Sales Culture Built on High Expectations for Performance

“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.”     

Charles F. Kettering

 

grow - business - sales - blog

 

This discussion will cover teams with consistent peak performance, operating within a culture built on high expectations. Furthermore, we will review the requisite execution on some of the key factors for consistently exceeding goals. Using a proven process, we help leaders build an environment that sets the expectation for excellence and peak performance to be “business as usual.” 

I had the privilege of being a part of such an environment in business, and when I played football. In this article, I will elaborate on the football experience, though there are many parallels to what I have helped build and experienced in business.

Let’s examine the football experience briefly for the winning culture attributes. Now, here’s where I date myself, but this is nonetheless a fact-based story:

In 1969 at the University of Missouri, we won nine games and lost two. Furthermore, this team has been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. We were co-champions of our conference and played in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day, January 1970. And finally, please note that many consider this to be one of the best teams in Mizzou football history. 

Question: So what does business performance have to do with football, Adam?

Answer: It is the environment/culture and intangibles/characteristics of this team that I believe warrant a closer look at the application to business. So, let’s do a high-level examination of these:

  • Coaching and development, both energetic and capable – We had coaches who were highly trained in the development of crucial skills in the players. And, our players had great relationships with the coaches, though they worked us hard, on a consistent schedule, and demanded excellence. The coaches knew each player’s unique strengths, and weaknesses and genuinely sought to optimize those capabilities. They wanted each of us to be the best we can be and, as a result, set very high standards for our performance in practice. Suffice it to say that we were extremely very well prepared; I never played a game that was anywhere near being as hard as practice.
  • Team orientation/singleness of purpose and strong peer relationships: As far as my teammates were concerned, we were just like family. I cared about each person and would do anything for any of them, just as they would for me. When I played, it was not so much for myself, but rather, I did not want to let them down. Our team identity was essential and were accountable to one another for contributions to the winning effort.
  • High expectations for achievement; confidence based on talent, preparation, and ability to execute – For any given game, we always felt that we were just supposed to win. That may sound cocky, but confidence in one’s abilities is paramount to success in any endeavor. Our preparation was top notch; we had an excellent talent in every position, and thus, as a team, we could beat anyone in the nation. It’s pretty special when a team comes together with that special kind of collective mindset. It’s poise and mental tenacity based upon individual and collective ability. Furthermore, it’s a will forged from hard work and rigorous preparation, grounded in a strategy based on disciplined execution on proven winning processes, skills, and techniques. 

The previously described environment is the kind of culture businesses should aspire to create.

In business and in football, winning cultures possess key attributes which are critical to their success. A few of those are covered in this article; but more importantly, A Vital Business Growth Solutions has a proven process to help you put these and other reliable growth strategies in place for your respective team.

If you’re interested in a free assessment for your business, you may schedule a 30-minute consultation at this link:  https://calendly.com/adam-vital/consultative-meeting. And, when you employ our services, we don’t get paid unless you see results!


Harness the Power of WOM

Posted by adamvital

Harness the Power of WOMHarness The Power of WOM

 

Today we’re going to talk about how to harness the power of word of mouth. Including the six-step process to success and the 30 (that’s right, I said 30) ways to harass the power of WOM. So, let’s get started!

There are six steps to harassing word of mouth:

 

 

  1. Understand your customers’ values and priorities, this will help you understand why they would buy your products.
  2. Understand the different adopter types: innovators, early adopters, middle majority, late adopters and laggards.
  3. Identify which decision stages are needed for your product to be adopted.
  4. Use the information from steps 2 & 3 to figure out which wording and word of mouth tactics are going to work using the Decision Maker Matrix (we’ll talk about this in a minute).
  5. Put together the resources for the highest word of mouth impact.
  6. Create and implement your word of mouth campaign.

The Decision Maker Matrix is based on years of trial and error by George Silverman. It essentially charts to different concerns you may come across when working with different adapters and putting together a decision process for each one.

We are now going to move on to the 30 ways to harass the power of WOM:

Use Experts

Experts can come in many forms and all their opinions should be taken into consideration when putting together a WOM campaign. Some experts to gather information from include:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Experts
  • Salespeople
  • Experts’ roundtables
  • Experts’ selling groups

Seminars, Workshops & Speeches

These venues are a perfect opportunity to gather information. People who attend these types of events are used to giving feedback, so you can use a survey or other method to gather information you can look over later. Some events to use are:

  • Speakers program
  • Seminars
  • Group selling
  • Dinner meetings
  • Peer selling groups
  • Teleconferenced experts’ panels
  • Trade show events/opportunities

“Canned” Word of Mouth

The concept of “canned” word of mouth is using hard and online products to get feedback and offer information at the same time. Some ideas for these are:

  • Videotapes
  • Audiotapes
  • World Wide Web
  • CD’s

Referral Selling

As we’ve talked about before a referral program can help with a variety of things in building your business. By using some of the following tactics and opportunities you can find out exactly what you need to do to generate positive word of mouth. These tactics and opportunities are:

  • Testimonials
  • Networking
  • Referral Selling Program

“New” Media

The concept of “new” media is the use of up and coming media sources and opportunities to get the word out about your products and services and listen for the feedback about them. Here are some of the “new” media options:

  • Hotlines
  • Faxback services
  • Web-based word of mouth, such as forums, e-mail, etc.
  • Call centers

Using Traditional Media for Word of Mouth

Using traditional media is a great way to get feedback. These are still considered mainstream ways of interacting with the public and consumers. Some traditional media outlets are:

  • Customer service
  • PR
  • Placements
  • Events
  • Promotions
  • Word of mouth in ads, sales brochures, or direct mail
  • Salesperson programs, sales stars, or peer training,
  • Word-of-mouth incentive programs (“Tell-a-friend” programs)
  • Customer gifts they can share with their friends (articles, how-to manuals)

Internal Word of Mouth

  • Encourage employee word of mouth and sharing feedback with family, friends, and others
  • Offer rewards or commission for word of mouth success

 

As you can see there are tons of ideas you can work with to increase your level of positive word of mouth marketing. If you need help with any of this, please contact me at  Contact adam.vital@avbgs.com or (281) 817-7391.