“Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.” – Norman Cousins
“Consequence – Something that happens as a result of a particular action or set of conditions” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
This is the final article in the series covering disciplined execution: ‘Visibility, Accountability, and Consequences”. For high performing sales teams, the culture is built upon a shared understanding of clear, unambiguous consequences for doing the right things, the right way. The winning formula is very straightforward:
- Goals are properly established by the business
- Activities and resources for the business are designed to support goals
- Activities aligned with business goals are assigned to each employee; these individuals are properly developed, given necessary resources/support, and held accountable
- When an employee’s assigned activities are performed in a manner that exceeds expectations, positive consequences naturally follow. And, other appropriate consequences are administered for meeting expectations.
- Moreover, consequences are quickly carried out for those not doing the right things, or for persons doing the right things but in the wrong way.
To summarize, in winning sales cultures, for whatever the scenario might be, consequences are administered in a fair and timely manner. Leaders in such a culture understand that should applicable consequences not be carried out consistently, equitably, and promptly, the integrity of execution, as well as overall organizational credibility, are at risk.
The following are illustrative (but not necessarily all-inclusive) of consequences:
- Cash – Salaries/raises, sales compensation/incentives, bonuses, awards.
- Recognition – Running the gamut from a simple, verbal acknowledgment of a job well done up to very formal events. (Incidentally, the simple verbal acknowledgment of good performance is much underutilized in many business settings. However, leaders in winning sales cultures understand that people want spontaneous verbal recognition from their bosses, and it doesn’t cost anything.)
- Employee Development – This includes coaching, training, performance management, etc. People want/need constructive feedback; they have a desire to do well and to develop their capabilities. (And, just a comment on coaching: regarding strengthening the culture, good and consistent coaching helps build strong relationships with loyalty and trust.)
- Disciplinary action, up to and including termination – Most certainly, this is not a pleasant task but must be administered effectively and timely when appropriate, to ensure a healthy culture.
The purpose of efficient and timely administration of appropriate consequences is to help create an environment where there are a significantly higher number of people exceeding expectations, as compared to other similarly situated businesses.
From my experience, “Visibility, Accountability and Consequences” are execution fundamentals that lay the foundation for success in a winning sales culture.
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