Create a Winning Sales Culture | Execute with Discipline and Demand Excellence
Execution is a passion for me. And, while I could devote an entire book to the subject, in this article, the focus will be to examine one very specific aspect of execution, a simple framework to keep everyone aligned on a day-to-day basis.
Before getting into details, let me first re-emphasize the importance of having the right culture. Two of the key elements of a winning sales culture are 1) open two-way communications
2) collaboration. These are critical success factors for good execution. Leaders will find it difficult to over-communicate on matters of importance to employees.
Furthermore, folks want and need to be able to have their voices heard by business leaders. And thus, truly effective communication is not unilateral but is a meaningful open and two-way exchange of vital information. In a more holistic sense, this cultural environment promotes a dynamic communications network and effortless collaboration among Individuals and teams.
Keeping it Simple
I have found that it to be effective to address complex business challenges in a simple way that makes sense. So, here is a framework that works to help everyone on the team to have a common way to think about sales execution:
Accountability – Each individual in the business is accountable for carrying out a specific set of responsibilities in a certain way. These expectations for each individual must be communicated clearly and confirmed so that there is no room for misunderstanding. Leadership is ultimately accountable for all aspects of the enterprise; however, of necessity, they will delegate responsibilities and duties throughout the organization. To be clear, accountability is a bilateral and reciprocal situation: That is, leadership is accountable for coaching, guidance, training, development, resources, etc. And, it follows that once the employee is prepared, he accountable for effectively fulfilling requisite responsibilities and duties to meet expectations.
Visibility – The business must have data and information for clarity and perception of actual performance against the objective for which the employee is held accountable. This includes sales activities, processes, outputs and goals/quotas, etc. Some examples of visibility would encompass the following: personal observation, customer and employee feedback processes, reporting systems, sales operations reviews, random inspection, etc.
Consequences – These must be managed in a way that optimizes business resources for maximizing growth and overall profitability. This means that leaders must be timely, consistent and diligent in administering consequences in a fair manner. Given the situation, appropriate consequences might consist of compensation (increase or decrease), incentive/reward, promotion/increased responsibilities, recognition, coaching, performance management, training, disciplinary action, etc. Nevertheless, the goal of effectively managed consequences is to build, accentuate and promote good habits, while minimizing/eliminating those that do not support business goals. Just think about your business: How many opportunities have you missed for administering the appropriate consequences for your employees? And, most importantly, what has this cost you in terms of increased growth and profitability?
In summary, my way of thinking about these elements is the acronym spelled “VAC”. I guarantee that this simple framework, when consistently applied and utilized by the entire team, can help produce results that will speak for themselves.
To learn more about how to develop and implement a plan to execute with discipline, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (281) 817-7391.