Sales Teams Who Rely On The Manager Getting It Right, All The Time

The tyranny that many sales directors face is one they struggle to articulate until you point it out, and then they have a lightbulb moment and say “absolutely!”. They go further and say if I could solve this problem I would transform the potential of this team.

What is this debilitating disease that can sap the energy of even the best sales leaders? Simply put, it’s a team that is only interested in what their manager is interested in. They might be the most responsive, competitive team but their issues are your issues, their agenda is your agenda.

[geoads2]

A common manifestation of this problem would go as follows. A concern starts to form in the back of your mind about a part of the business that currently looks OK. You do nothing for a while, mulling it over but it won’t go away so do decide to do some proper analysis. This reveals a potentially serious issue unless addressed quickly. You bring it to the attention of your team, but respond with real concern and get on with solving it ASAP.

A first look this looks a good resolution except on reflection you realise that without your prescience this problem would probably spiralled in to a major crisis causing real damage to the business. That takes you to an even bigger worry. What other problems are over the horizon waiting to blind the company as you move forward? And that’s just problems, what about the nascent opportunities?

A sales leader in this position ends up doing the thinking for their team and the team ends up being dependent on their leader.

Think of how it could be. You are managing the business and one of your team brings something to you. They have had a worry for some time, done some thinking about, done the analysis, worked out the best solution and actioned a recovery plan. They are telling you on an FYI basis only. This is a team that thinks pro-actively for its self. In this environment the responsibility for change and development is shared rather than being a top down process.

[geoads3]

How do you create this kind of team dynamic? Firstly by getting everybody to recognise there is a problem. Some people get into a position where they believe that senior (to them) people do the thinking for change, it’s their job to simply carry it out. So if there are no changes or issues coming down the pipe, there’s nothing additional to worry about. Part of anybody’s job is about being pro-active in their role, don’t let them off the hook by doing this critical part of their job for them.

The Business Imperative For Being A Demanding, Performance Orientated Organisation (One more time!)

  • It stimulates a success orientated culture that constantly reinforces itself

= higher standards and a self-motivating desire for ‘stretch’ performance

  • It aligns the individual’s performance to organisational goals

= greater energy around objectives and targets

  • It gives purpose to the on-going  building of individuals’ strengths and potential

= increases peoples self-esteem

[geoads2]

  • The clarity around the interdependency of personal and organisational success/failure, stimulates deeper engagement between the individual and the organisation

= improves morale and ‘emotional stakeholding’ in the business

  • It creates awareness of the progress that everyone is making (or not) towards objectives

= performance ‘counts’ because there are positive and negative consequences, for everybody

  • It aligns and reinforces the individuals expectations with the organisations expectations

= higher ownership stimulates thinking around personal ‘stretch’ performance

  • It identifies performance (positive and negative) issues early, so allowing for the generation of possible solutions to optimise performance

= because when performance really matters, people get passionate about their own (and others) performance

  • It can provide effective data for feeding into other people related issues, such as; resource planning, new role design, training, management development and succession planning

= significantly improves organisational capabilities, and shows the organisation is serious about supporting peoples’ career development

[geoads3]

Seven Steps To Building Peer Group Pressure

Peer Group Pressure is the glue that binds high performing team together, creating a self sustaining level achievement within a supportive framework.

[geoads2]

The Benefits

  • Management can spend less time checking and policing, more time developing building and coaching people
  • A greater sense of belonging is achieved, the inclusiveness informing coherent and aligned behaviours
  • The team supports people when needed
  • New recruits are more effectively and quickly  inducted and their morals stays higher for longer

What Is Required To Engender Peer Group Pressure?

  • Common purpose, including Vision, Values & Goals
  • Interdependency, people need to need each other
  • Mutual respect
  • Clear performance metrics linked to success failure criteria
  • An effective consequences framework for dealing with over and under performance (see previous point)
  • As much focus on behaviours as results. How people behave must be as important as what they achieve.
  • A vigorous  feedback model, with open communication

[geoads3]

We still find it surprising how often organisations hope that peer group pressure or esprit de corps is assumed to occur, with little active input into making it happen. We have yet to find any manager who has it is as one of their objectives – a glaring indictment of the organisation’s misunderstanding  of what value adding activities their managers should be engaged in.

Tips For Managing Discipline, Grievance And Dismissal

professionally and confidently and is one part of the manager’s role which can cause the most concern. If the issues are handled effectively they can aid employee motivation but handled incorrectly can create an unhelpful atmosphere and company culture. This management training course will provide managers with practical ways of dealing effectively with these difficult issues. [Geoads2]

Who Should Attend

Managers, executives and supervisors who need to deal with disciplinary, grievance and dismissal issues are part of their job roles.

Course Objectives

After attending this course, participants will be able to:
  • Understand discipline, grievance and dismissal issues
  • Understand their role and responsibilities in handling them effectively
  • Identify and handle typical problems
  • Identify when to coach, when to counsel and when to discipline
  • Understand the core legal issues.
[Geoads3]

Course Programme

The Discipline Landscape What constitutes a disciplinary issue? Where does capability fit? When is a gripe a grievance? Is dismissal necessary? The Legal Beagle What is your company’s responsibility? What’s my legal position? What rights does the employee have? What are the employee’s responsibilities? Fair reasonable and consistent – concepts to live by The Trigger Points Identifying common problems Minor slip ups to gross misconduct Stopping trouble before it starts Letting it slip or starting a landslide Approaches To Discipline When a quiet word will do Where informal counselling fits in Coaching inappropriate behaviour out The formal route Understanding Procedure Putting a formal process in place The documents you’ll need The importance of the right records Warnings: verbal, written and final How to implement a grievance procedure that works The Human Touch The counselling interview Planning for formal hearings When to get help, for you or the employee Taking external factors into account [Geoads2] Personal Development Plan Developing an individual action plan for implementation back in the workplace.]]>

Using Past Behaviour As An Indicator Of Future Performance

The best way to measure whether a candidate measures up to job requirements is through a planned interview that will reveal as much as possible of the job applicant’s past behaviour.

In revealing the applicant’s past behaviour you can assess on the basis of how various situations were dealt with historically – and thereby predict future performance.

You can appraise a person on this basis because future behaviour tends to mirror past behaviour.  For example, if you want a leader, look for a person who has demonstrated leadership ability in the past.  Because it is very difficult to change behaviour habits, hire a person who doesn’t need changing.

This doesn’t mean that people do not change in some ways as they go through life.  We all change with new experiences and new knowledge and through exposure to different people.  Although our skills, knowledge and experience are constantly changing, our basic personality, temperament and character remain fairly stable.

[geoads2]

The truth of this can be determined by examining the lives of your family and life long friends.  Those who were stubborn and determined in their early days are stubborn and determined today and will continue to be so in the future.  Similarly, those who were more flexible and easy going in their early days have carried traits into their later life.  The same applies to the aggressive, the sociable, the restless.

People who always seek out competitive activities tend to show competitive traits through life, those who choose co-operative hobbies are most likely to want to co-operate at work.  People who always want to be the leader of their group and captain of their team may struggle with being just one amongst equals, or in a team with an already strong and established leader.

There are extreme cases, of course, in which people have undergone drastic personality changes, but these are unusual.  Most people go through life with the temperament, personality and character they inherited and developed in their early years.  The key to assessing a candidate then, lies in being able to analyse past performance.  Your job, as an interviewer, is to ask questions that will elicit responses that describe past behaviour.

 

 

Tips For Managing Effective Meetings

meetings are run effectively and help participants get more out of their meetings whilst spending less time in them! [Geoads2] The course will focus on the management of people and time and the use of techniques to ensure that meetings produce real, measurable results. It also looks at behavioural issues to explain why meetings can be unproductive and lengthy and practical measures to remedy this.

Who Should Attend

This management training course is designed for anyone who regularly leads, organises or attends face to face meetings either within their organisation or with external clients, suppliers and partner companies, and feels that they could be shorter or more productive.

Course Objectives

After attending the course, participants will have the ability to: [Geoads3]
  • Identify ways in which their meetings (both as chair and attendee) can be improved
  • Use proactive measures to put these improvements into place
  • Understand the traditional and modern roles and behaviours of meetings
  • Prepare for a meeting which they are to lead in minimum time with maximum effect
  • Be aware of barriers to an effective meeting and use communication skills to overcome them
  • Understand the significance of verbal and non-verbal communication during a meeting
  • Make meetings shorter and more productive.

Course Programme

Meetings: Why Have Them? What can meetings achieve for us? To meet, or not to meet, that is the question….. 5 bad reasons for a meeting What goes wrong and why? What effect does this have on the organisation? What goes well? Meetings: Theory V Reality Review of the traditional and modern meeting ‘roles’ Expectations and responsibilities The meeting agenda Minutes? What minutes? The differences between the ‘ideal’ meeting and reality! Closing the gap Planning Effective Meetings Achieving maximum results in minimum time Planning tools to make life easier Who, what, when, where, how, why? Planning the ‘perfect’ meeting Achievable meeting objectives The key to shorter meetings Giving in order to receive Proactive communication Tips and techniques for planning meetings Feedback Putting it into practice: Planning a time-restricted meeting Meetings: The Human Element Starting on time Dealing with lateness and interruptions Recognising negative behaviours Tackling negative behaviours and promoting positive ones Recognising barriers to an effective meeting Verbal and non-verbal communications Tips and techniques for running meetings Controlling your meeting Putting it into practise 2: Controlling a meeting Follow Up Why minutes don’t have to be painful Actions and progression Feedback Getting results [Geoads2] Back To Reality Planning for future meetings Development plan]]>

Telephone Selling

The telephone remains an essential part of selling. The telephone provides great opportunities, and it presents particular challenges – which explains why many sales people are successful face-to-face but not on the telephone.

[geoads2]

Overview
Telephone selling is a highly specialised form of selling. It is more than just selling by use of the telephone. The absence of body language means we must rely on our voice only. Many salespeople who are good face-to-face, are poor on the telephone.

Time is compressed on the telephone. Seconds seem like minutes. Minutes seem like hours. This means we need skills to compensate for the lack of time.

This intensive and practical course provides the key skills needed.

Who Should Attend
All new telephone salespeople or those who wish to improve/refresh their ability to sell using the telephone.

Duration
1 Day

Selling Skills (Telephone Selling) – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

    • the key challenges and benefits of telephone selling
    • how to prepare for a call and take advantage of the telephone environment
    • how to open the call and ‘set the scene’ for an effective call
    • to ask effective questions to uncover and develop needs
    • to match customer needs by aspects of the product/service, in a manner that moves towards agreement
    • how to get agreement in a conversational manner and handle any objections/questions that arise
    • the key post-call activities.

[geoads3]

Selling Skills (Telephone Selling) – Course Outline

Introduction
The role of the telephone
The advantages and disadvantages of selling on the telephone

Preparation
Taking advantage of the telephone
Call objectives and materials

Opening The Call
The Call Structure
Building rapport

Finding And Developing Needs
Question Structure
Designing questions

Matching Needs And Presenting Solutions
The Benefit Sequence
Developing a personal Style
‘Trial Close’

Getting Agreement
Reaching agreement in a professional manner
Handling objections/reservations

Post Call Activities
Records
Follow-up

Sales Questioning

The difference between ‘telling’ and ‘selling’ is ‘asking.’ As buyers become increasingly resistant to ‘aggressive’ selling, questioning skills have become a key difference between average performers and the top performers.

[geoads2]

Overview
Today’s competitive environment requires more than good interpersonal skills. Good salespeople are made, not born. They may have the inherent interpersonal skills and the ‘will-to-win’ but that must be matched by effective structures, processes and techniques. Sales Questioning has probably increased in importance more than most aspects of selling skills.

Salespeople are human. They develop good habits and bad habits. The good habits need reinforcement. The bad habits need to be realised and dealt with.

The sales force is arguably the most ‘expensive’ part of the workforce and yet is predominantly unsupervised at the point that matter most – with the customers. Skills need to be constantly refreshed and developed. As the future of the organisation often lies in the sales, new salespeople must become effective quickly. Investing in the skills of the sales force has greater return than investment in other areas of skills.

This intensive and practical course is the first in a course giving the key selling skills required. By using a course, skills are continually built.

Who Should Attend
All new and experienced salespeople.

Duration
1 Day

Selling Skills (Sales Questioning) – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

  • to recognise the importance of questioning in advanced selling
  • receive a refresher on questioning skills. These skills will be taken to a more advanced level
  • to design questions for important situations and their current accounts
  • a powerful sequence to change priorities and cause action
  • to develop sequences to suit their personal style and current situations
  • valuable questioning techniques to improve their control of a meeting

[geoads3]

Selling Skills (Sales Questioning) – Course Outline

The Role Of Questioning
Reducing reservations and objections
Demonstrating interest
Finding latent needs
Tailoring the presentation

Questioning Structure
Types of question and their use
Designing questions to uncover needs and improving the quality of responses
Avoiding the pitfalls
Delicate questions
Protecting other persons ego

The G.E.T. Sequence™
How to ‘introduce needs’
Questions that convert ‘needs’ into ‘actions’
How to change ‘need’ priorities

Question Control Skills
The ‘Triple A’ sequence of handling questions
How to control digressions and the conversation flow

Managing Sales Inquiries

Overview
Today’s competitive environment requires more than good interpersonal skills. Good salespeople are made, not born. They may have the inherent interpersonal skills and the ‘will-to-win’ but that must be matched by effective structures, processes and techniques.

[geoads2]

Salespeople are human. They develop good habits and bad habits. The good habits need reinforcement. The bad habits need to be realised and dealt with.

The salesforce is arguably the most ‘expensive’ part of the workforce and yet is predominantly unsupervised at the point that matter most – with the customers. Skills need to be constantly refreshed and developed. As the future of the organisation often lies in the sales, new salespeople must become effective quickly. Investing in the skills of the salesforce has greater return than investment in other areas of skills.

This intensive and practical course is the first in a course giving the key skills required. By using a course, skills are continually built.

Who Should Attend
All new and experienced salespeople.

Duration
1.5 Days

Selling Skills (Sales Call and Enquiry) – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

    • the key success factors in selling
    • a proven approach to a sales call
    • to ‘tune in’ to customers/prospects to increase their success
    • the key elements of preparation and the dramatic effect preparation can have on success
    • the key elements in opening the meeting to ensure success
    • to recognise the importance of questioning in advanced selling
    • a refresher on questioning skills – these skills will be taken to a more advanced level
    • to design questions for important situations and their current accounts
    • a powerful sequence to change priorities and cause action
    • to develop sequences to suit their personal style and current situations
    • valuable questioning techniques to improve their control of a meeting

 

Selling Skills (Sales Call and Enquiry) – Course Outline

The Professional Salesperson
Success characteristics
The difference between selling and manipulation
Changes in selling – the new ‘Triangles of Effort’
Sales Call Structure

Profiling For Greater Success
Profiling the organisation
Profiling the individuals concerned

Preparing For The Sales Call
Pre-call checklist
Setting the call objective
Handling nerves
Making the most of the reception area

Opening The Meeting
Relaxing the other person
Establishing credentials
Arousing curiosity/interest
Selling the agenda

The Role Of Questioning
Reducing reservations and objections
Demonstrating interest
Finding latent needs
Tailoring the presentation

Questioning Structure
Types of question and their use
Designing questions to uncover needs and improving the quality of responses
Avoiding the pitfalls
Delicate questions
Protecting other persons ego

The G.E.T. Sequence™
How to ‘introduce needs’
Questions that convert ‘needs’ into ‘actions’
How to change ‘need’ priorities

Question Control Skills
The ‘Triple A’ sequence of handling questions
How to control digressions and the conversation flow

The Sales Meeting

Professional Selling is not manipulation or bullying. Special skills are required. This module introduces the skills, situations and key points in a competitive sales process.

[geoads2]

Overview
Today’s competitive environment requires more than good interpersonal skills. Good salespeople are made, not born. They may have the inherent interpersonal skills and the ‘will-to-win’ but that must be matched by effective structures, processes and techniques.

Salespeople are human. They develop good habits and bad habits. The good habits need reinforcement. The bad habits need to be realised and dealt with.

The salesforce is arguably the most ‘expensive’ part of the workforce and yet is predominantly unsupervised at the point that matter most – with the customers. Skills need to be constantly refreshed and developed. As the future of the organisation often lies in the sales, new salespeople must become effective quickly. Investing in the skills of the salesforce has greater return than investment in other areas of skills.

Who Should Attend
All new and experienced salespeople.

Duration
1/2 Day

Selling Skills (Sales Call) – Course Objectives

Participants will learn:

    • the key success factors in selling
    • a proven approach to a sales call
    • to ‘tune in’ to customers/prospects to increase their success
    • the key elements of preparation and the dramatic effect preparation can have on success
    • the key elements in opening the meeting to ensure success

[geoads3]

Selling Skills (Sales Call) – Course Outline

The Professional Salesperson
Success characteristics
The difference between selling and manipulation
Changes in selling – the new ‘Triangles of Effort’
Sales Call Structure

Profiling For Greater Success
Profiling the organisation
Profiling the individuals concerned

Preparing For The Sales Call
Pre-call checklist
Setting the call objective
Handling nerves
Making the most of the reception area

Opening The Meeting
Relaxing the other person
Establishing credentials
Arousing curiosity/interest
Selling the agenda