Stephen Hensley’s 15-Point Manifesto for Sales Performance – Point #2
You should focus 10% on results and 90% on behaviors and process.
Here are three internal best practices, bringing leaders to leverage behavior and process over results.
Leaders tend to focus on results which is understandable. When you run a for-profit business, the results are extremely important. The opportunity lies in how the results are delivered. This is where most leaders miss an opportunity to catapult their performance. Unfortunately, many leaders get caught up in the day-to-day tactical events and meetings. They should spend most of their time on strategy where they can leverage behaviors and processes. This is why most sales employees miss their goals and leaders see performance on a constant rollercoaster. To solve this, you must focus 90% of your attention to behavior and process.
I’m sure you’ve felt or currently feel overwhelm with all of the tactical tasks assigned to you. I find tactical tasks busy work which must be done. This doesn’t mean it’s not important. Here are some examples of tactical tasks: reviewing reports, scheduling, one on ones, training, employee concerns, etc. These are things that typically need to be executed daily. Many of these tasks can be delegated to other leaders or high-potential employees.
For example, you need to spend time coaching several sales employees. You’re pressed for time. Instead of ignoring the coaching or rushing through it, have a high-potential employee coach them. You must take time and set the expectations about which behaviors and process the employees should display for the session. This helps keep everyone on the same page. When you focus solely on results, you’ll miss how this result was achieved.
One on ones are a semi-formal meeting between the leader and employee. During the one on one, you discuss items such as performance, values, culture, etc. I’ve found many leaders don’t execute these or they’re seen as an item to check off of the to-do list. When you conduct a one on one, the employee should be doing most of the talking. I suggest the employee provide their current results and tie back the behaviors and processes they used to achieve the results.
For example, a sales employee in a B2C company is projecting to miss their quota for the month. The employee should say, I’m projecting down 15% for the month. I’m having a hard time getting people to conversate with me. The leader should drill down with the employee to uncover which behaviors or processes are missing. Is it a tone or inflection problem? Is there a trust or likability problem? You’ll want to test these and watch how the results move with the shift in behavior. The leader may need to layer in another process for the employee to follow to ensure smooth transitions during the conversation.
Hinge Your Process
You must set up a sales process if you don’t have one. Many leaders tell me they have a sales process their employees follow; however, none of the employees seem to know what it is. A sales process is a set of guidelines which the employees follow when partnering with prospects or clients. The process should allow autonomy; however, provide consistency amongst the group. The process should focus on behaviors and processes which close deals and provide an exceptional experience.
For example, your sales employees need to gain the prospects attention quickly. You will set up your sales process which states in the greeting the employee must create a compelling reason to speak with them. Then, layer in 5-10 ways the employees can layer in a compelling reason. When you speak to your employees during their one on ones, they should be able to recite the ways to do this and create some of their own. When you do this, you will start to see consistent focus on behavior and process and the numbers will see gains like never before.