Posts Tagged ‘continuous improvement’

Challenging the Sales Leadership of “We’ve Always Done It that Way”

How many times have you heard those in sales leadership roles when given a new way of thinking state something like “We’ve always done it that way?”  This tunnel vision thinking fails to move the individual, the team, the organization and even the customers forward toward even greater success.

Those involved in continuous improvement hear this statement or something similar to this statement numerous times.  For example, a chair is in the corner of a room and has been there for years.  When asked why is the chair there, the answer is “because it has always been there.” The chair serves no purpose except requiring cleaning people to move it to dust and clean around it.

I remember a story about a young woman who questioned her mother why her mother cut the ends off a roast. The response was because that was what grandmother did.  The young woman asked her grandmother the same question.  Grandmother’s answer was to get the roast to fit into the pan.

“We’ve always done it that way” is being heard more in SMB sales leadership than ever before. This statement becomes a fallback position of complacency.

With greater emphasis on content marketing, social media marketing and changes in the buying decision making process, how the sales process is implemented may require minor as well as some major tweaks.  Yet, reluctance to let go of the status quo by many in sales leadership roles is still very much present.

Last night I heard a compelling presentation about how a local airport could be a dazzling economic gem. Beyond what appears to be considerable mismanagement, there also appeared to be an attitude of “we’ve always done it that way.”

For anyone in any sales leadership role including those on the sales team as well as all employees within the organization to be satisfied with the status quo of “We’ve always done it that way,” limits everyone within that organization. Human beings are designed to change.  Organizations are created by human beings.  Efficient and effective change is required to stay competitive in today’s dynamic business marketplace.

The questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you willing to be that change? – Your decision
  • What do you need to do to be that change? – Your critical thinking skills
  • How will you go about to ensure the change is positive and sustainable? – Your ability to execute
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Self Leadership Is Required in Sales

In business there has always been a lot of attention directed to leadership.  Yet far lesser attention to this idea of self leadership.  As has been noted earlier, many presume people know how to lead themselves through earlier educational experiences.  However, research shows self leadership which falls into that bucket of people or soft skills is sorely lacking.

self-leadershipPeter Drucker said leadership is all about results.

Self leadership is about the individual getting results.

To secure the desired results begins with these two mindsets:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Motivation

Continuous improvement is a mindset where one is always challenging the status quo; looking toward the future and making changes if and when necessary. Sometimes the status quo is working and to make a change for the sake of making a change is simply ridiculous.

Motivation is also a mindset because the mind is what controls all behavior.  Using the Theory of Self Determination allows individuals to identify what is limiting their motivation:

  • Mastery
  • Autonomy
  • Purpose (as it relates to people)

In some sales training or business leadership programs, self leadership is included as a subset of sales skills or even talent development. Again there is a presumption people have the capacity and consistently demonstrate this capacity.

If this was true,

  • why do 44% of salespeople give up after making one call? (Source: Scripted)
  • why do the average salespeople make only two attempts to contact a sales lead or prospect? (Source: Sirius Decisions)

Continuous improvement and motivation are essential in securing results and working with the other aspects within the 5 Star Sales Leadership Model. Top sales performers do not rely on the business in providing the incentive for ongoing learning or motivation through recognition or rewards.

In today’s world with so many solo entrepreneurs as well as businesses with under 20 employees, business leadership and sales leadership are partners. These two roles must work together to achieve sustainable business growth.

Until 2/28/2017, learn what motivates you as well as how your behave and what is driving your decision making process through this special opportunity.

 

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How Process Trumps Price in Business, Executive or Sales Coaching

Once again I heard, “Your price is too high.  I can get sales coaching for a much cheaper cost.” Possibly you have also heard a similar sales objection to your price?

sakes-coaching

Credit www.pixabay.com

My direct reply to this sales objection was:

“Then that other coach may be a better solution fit for you.  My fees that you believe are too high are the result of 19 years as an executive, business and sales coach with a proven track record.

There are only two problems in any SMB – people or process.

Many executive coaches, business coaches and sales coaches lack a process.  This is why I have personally coached numerous executive, business and sales coaches who did not have a process.  Effective coaching be it for executive, small business owners or sales professionals is 100% about continuous improvement. How can anyone engage in sustainable continuous improvement without an initial process?”

Sales Coaching Tip:  Not everyone is the best fit as a sales coaching client. I already had a sense this was not my ideal customer because forward thinking people do not bring price up at the beginning or sometimes never at all.

In speaking with my colleagues on the East and West Coast as well as with some of my clients, my coaching fees are way too reasonable for the proven results I deliver. However a SMB owner one must be cognizant of the market place.  Also having separate fees for different geographical areas just seems unethical to me.

If you are thinking about hiring a sales coach, then the first question should not be about price, but rather about process.  What process does the coach employ?

The second question should be directed to what are the results generated by the process?  Results must be quantitative (measurable) not just some feel good qualitative results. This may require you speaking with the clients of the coach you are considering hiring.

As to the third and final question, is how do your clients get those results? Here is where the rubber meets the road for those engaged in executive, business or sales coaching.

Click HERE to schedule your time to learn of my answer to that third question.

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The Desire for Perfection Reveals So Much More

Being married to an engineer who was responsible for ensuring the building designs held the weight of the materials, people and even snow loads I appreciated his desire for perfection. And even with his most accurate calculations, mistakes were made by others.  These mistakes, these imperfections were outside of his control.

desire-for-perfectionLife is always throwing us mistakes, imperfections and how we choose to deal with those events is a testimony to our own resiliency.

Most accept perfection is not attainable for a variety of reasons.

Yet there are still individuals who strive for their own desire for perfection and in many cases for the wrong reasons.

Take social media and those individuals who must always correct your comments with a long diatribes showcasing all of their perfect knowledge.  What in actually they did was to reveal there extremely strong, overbearing ego and it’s all about me nature.

Give me a fricking break!

Then there are those small business folks who want their marketing or websites perfect.  Of course, the marketing is never published and the websites never go live.

Yet they complain about not having enough business or the inability to increase sales.

For me, the desire for perfection is an emotion that I never look to experience because I believe in the words of Mark Twain who said:

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.”

 

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Organizational Development Is The Old Way of StrategicThinking

Organizational development has been around for years and looks to improve the small business from the 30,000 foot level.  What so many fail to miss is that in today’s fast paced, technology driven society, the people must be an equal part of any continuous improvement initiative. This equality begins up front in the words used and must have equal footing with the words organizational development.

organizational-development

What has happened is management the talents of people, developing those key talents is just a critical as managing operations within any organizational development strategy.Strategic thinking has gone way beyond just operations, technology and information.

Those small to mid size businesses that understand the business playing field has changed along with organizational development will be ahead of the strategic thinking flow and will not have to worry as much about their competitors.

One of the best models to unite people and management operations is the 5 Star Model as advanced by Jay Galbraith. This strategic thinking business model does not emphasize one element within any organization over another.  What it does is to identify and then works to close the gaps between people and operations. Additionally this business model works with any organization, in any industry from the solo entrepreneurs to small and mid size businesses under 100 employees to the Fortune 500.

To embrace strategic thinking only through the lens of organizational development is indeed the old way. Small business coaching and consulting firms that advance strategic planning without understanding this new paradigm are doing a disservice to their clients for they are working in the 20th century and not in the 21st century.

What is needed is what I have identified as  the Next Generation of Talent Management where organizational development unites people and management operations to achieve the desired results. When strategic thinking infuses this new paradigm then it creates almost a natural alignment between planning, people and profits.  And that alignment once achieved generates almost an effortless sustainability within any organization.

P.S. Another some what old way of strategic thinking is one’s unique positioning statement (USP). Consider this FREE webinar, Your Values Are Your Small Business Differentiators on Thursday February 7th from 12-12:30pm.

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