- U.S. companies spend over $900 billion on their sales forces, which is three times more than they spend on all ad media.
- Sales is, by far, the most expensive part of strategy execution for most firms. Yet, on average, companies deliver only 50% to 60% of the financial performance that their strategies and sales forecasts have promised.
- More than half of executives (56%) say that their biggest challenge is ensuring that their daily decisions about strategy and resource allocation are in alignment with their companies’ strategies.
That’s a lot of wasted money and effort & the obvious question is what can be done to start improving this?
My belief is that the biggest contributor to improving this is through having the right individual & collective leadership behaviours.
Behaviours that I’ve observed from senior business leaders and executives fall into two categories and these behaviours have a direct impact on an organisations results;
- Senior business leaders and executives that are stuck in the boardrooms and corporate offices. They struggle with the concept of how behaviours improve performance because a behaviour doesn’t have a line on a balance sheet.
- Senior business leaders and executives that have a customer centric and sales heartbeat.They understand the impact of behaviours on a culture where getting more sales and keeping customers are the two most important things that a business has to do.
How do you go about making improvements to behaviours?
Changing behaviours and an organisational culture can be both a priority and a challenge. It is also why many executives find it difficult to precisely articulate and deal with culture.
Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report, based on a survey of more than 7,000 business and human resources leaders, found that 82 percent of respondents view “culture as a potential competitive advantage,” while only 28 percent believe they “understand their culture well,” and 19 percent believe their organisation has the “right” culture.
With this in mind let’s look at 3 areas of leadership behaviour that can impact on a companies culture & create that competitive advantage
This starts from the top. Do you talk about customers and prospects every day? Do you get fascinated when asked to contribute to deal making, CVP development or sales pipeline reviews? Do you dedicate work days as sales days and spend these in the field letting nothing get in there way?
Change your behaviour;
- How many customers do you plan to see or speak to this week?
- How many internal meetings have you planned that are dedicated discussion about winning business?
Those that know me would have heard me use this quote by Philip Kotler many times; “The sales department isn’t the whole company but the whole company better be the sales department” well, is your company like this?
Change your behaviour;
- Does this quote sound or feel like your business? Would your staff expect to hear you say something like that? What can you do to provide this clarity of purpose?
- What more can you do to ensure every employee understands what part of his or her job drives revenue?
Recognition creates discretionary effort. Recognition is also an effective way to reinforce the behaviours you want to see, as it’s not always about pointing our those things that are going wrong. Recognition doesn’t have to be grand, in fact you would have more of an impact if you made the recognition personal.
Change your behaviour;
- Who have you recognised recently? I mean a deliberate well thought through act of not recognition vs a throw away “well done”?
- Who do you plan to telephone today, or, leave your office desk to recognise? Yes I really mean get up and walk over and talk to someone!
I hope this article resonates with you and maybe it motivates you to take action on some of my thoughts.
You might already role model these behaviours and if you do I take off my hat to you!
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Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]