There is a secret success behind every sales team, every sales person. That secret being a great sales leader. Without the sales leader, helping to set goals and ensuring they are met, the sales team will have no motivation nor drive to do their job. But what happens when the sales leader uses the old, worn out methods of sales leadership?
VSTV: Episode 32- A Message for Sales Leaders
Matthew: Welcome to Velocity Selling TV, I’m your host, Matthew Whyatt, and we’ve got the founder of Velocity Selling up in Ottawa, Canada, Bob Urichuck. G’Day Bob, how are you going?
Bob: Fantastic Matthew and good to hear your voice again.
Matthew: It’s great to be back. We’re on episode thirty-two of our journey throughout this entire year to really uncover what it means to be a modern salesperson in a new economy of buyers. Actually, by the way, if you’re not sure what we mean by a new economy of buyers, go ahead and grab our download- we’ll stick it in the comments below- what it means to be a modern salesperson. Don’t fall into the buyer’s system. But I might be getting a little ahead of ourselves. In the last couple of weeks Bob, we’ve been talking about having our personal goals. Now bob, why do we talk about personal goals before organisational goals?
Bob: Well, you know Matthew, maybe I’m a bit of a, well, I always do the opposite, as you know and that’s what’s made our system so successful. We teach the opposite of selling which is buying. When I was in the corporate world, they taught me about corporate goals but they never taught me about personal goals. And it hit me one day, hey wait a second, what’s more important? Corporate goals or personal goals? And I figured, you know, I’m more motivated if I know what’s in it for me and so what I ended up doing is, I ended up creating personal goals which related to corporate so if I accomplished a corporate objective, I’m reaching a personal goal at the same time. So what we did in the last few episodes is we discussed personal goals. Why do you go to work? It wasn’t about making money, it was about living the lifestyle that you want to live. And you know, we talked about all the different elements that you need to do to accomplish personal goals. Well now that you have personal goals, we have to take this same program and apply it to the corporate world. So again, we use the goal log, and if you recall the goal log and maybe you want to attach it here for those who missed a previous episode or refer back to where they can download it. But in the goal log, we talked about setting S.M.A.R.T goals , we talked about outcomes, what do you see, what do you hear, what do you feel? We talked about what are some possible obstacles that can come up along the way and what are some contingency plans to help you overcome those obstacles? We talked about skills and behaviour, people, groups of people who can help you. We talked about an action plan that how to really simplify it and little bites at a time to make things happen. And of course, with the action plan we then looked at monitoring and measuring your progress and of course, the important part, commitment and taking action. Don’t sign it if you’re not prepared to make it happen. So the same process that we talked about for personal goals applies to corporate goals. Now, Matthew, you’ve been in Sales all your life, you’ve been s sales leader. What do sales leaders have a tendency to do each and every year with salespeople?
Matthew: Well, I think one of the big things that we do in sales, I guess legacy salespeople, leaders, is to set the goals. Say, this is our target, you guys got to hit this.
Bob: Yes. Now when you tell me, and let’s say I’m your salesperson, you’re telling me I got to hit a million dollars this year. Do I own that number or is it our number?
Matthew: It’s totally my number.
Bob: It’s totally your number. I have no ownership. It’s your problem, not mine. So let’s reverse that. What can we do differently, as we teach in Velocity Selling, to make that difference?
Matthew: We said that, we understand what the salesperson needs, and see if we can attach that to the corporate goals and then put together an action plan to execute on it.
Bob: Exactly. And part of it is, sure corporate, we know the big number, but who knows your territory better Matthew? You or me as your manager?
Matthew: Me as the salesperson.
Bob: Exactly. So as a sales leader why not engage your salespeople. They know their territory, they know their products, they know it all better than you do, engage them into coming up with a number. And if they give you the number, who owns that number?
Matthew: They do.
Bob: Exactly. And that’s what we want. This is part of getting commitment out of people. We want to engage them in the discussion. Now what you’re going to find sales leaders, is a lot of times, you’re going to have to negotiate them downwards because salespeople are over optimistic. But you’re going to get the odd one that’s going to be low and you’re going to have to negotiate them upwards. But the bottom line to all of this, it’s not your number, it’s their number. And then of course, what you want to do once you have the number is say to them, ok, give me a sales plan, a draft sales plan- which means it’s open for input. Prepare a draft sales plan and how you’re going to do it. And this is where we pull out the goal log, and based on the goal log- and all the questions and things we identified earlier, they answer all the different points and there’s a draft sales plan. Allow the sales manager and the other people on your team to provide input to make it even better. And then you sign it, you commit to it, and then you go out and make it happen.
Matthew: Fantastic. Well that’s really simple, but it’s simple, but really I guess you would say it is very, very clear for the salesperson and elegant- that’s the word I was searching for. It’s an elegant solution. Well, that’s, I think if we just have that nugget today that would probably be enough. Is there anything you want to add?
Bob: No. It’s just, sales leaders, stop demonstrating inappropriate, old time sales behaviours. Stop pushing your number on people. Stop telling them what to do. Change that to engaging them and when you demonstrate the right behaviours to your salespeople, guess what your salespeople are going to do at the buyers? They’re going to follow. It’s monkey see, monkey do. So sales leader ,the pressure is on you to demonstrate the appropriate behaviours that you want your salespeople to follow.
Matthew: Fantastic Bob. Thanks very much and we’ll see you again next week.
Bob: Sounds great Matthew, thanks again for the call.