Miller Heiman Blog

Conscious Collaboration—A Behavior Of World Class Sales Performers

Conscious Collaboration – A World-Class Behavior 
Look at a couple of your won deals and analyze the criteria that made the difference. There will be tangible criteria such as the vision of future success, the compelling business case, a specific solution whose value outweighed the perceived risk of change, etc. There is one intangible criterion that empowers all the tangible criteria, and that is collaboration. 

Conscious collaboration—a behavior of World-Class Sales Performers
The 2014 MHI Global Sales Best Practices Study identifies the individual behaviors that drive World-Class Sales Performance. One is conscious collaboration. It’s the ability to collaborate across departments to pursue large deals—specifically, to quickly allocate the right resources to those deals. It’s the ability to collaborate across departments to manage strategic accounts and to have an effective cross-functional process to manage global accounts. Conscious collaboration also means that sales and marketing are solidly aligned, with a shared understanding of the customer’s journey and a shared focus on one goal: revenue. 

Collaboration needs to be defined
The purpose of collaboration is not collaboration itself. It’s achieving better results in a shorter amount of time.  It allows individuals with disparate areas of expertise and different roles to work together in ad hoc scenarios through a common language and strategic frameworks. Collaboration connects teams, organizations and companies. It’s how they work together to multiply their individual contributions. Collaboration objectives are different for a strategic-account environment, and they are different for an inside-sales team. Sales professionals are traditionally more competitive than collaborative, which means that collaboration and its objectives must be clearly defined. Collaboration has to make sense for sales professionals. That's why we call it conscious collaboration. Each situation is unique and requires its own balance of collaboration and competition. For example, large-deal teams are necessarily collaborative, while account teams compete for sales resources, and sales professionals may compete for promotions. Defining collaboration cannot be delegated. It is a sales-leadership task. When sales leaders establish guiding principles for different situations and define expected behaviors, it creates the foundation for conscious collaboration. 

Collaboration needs a framework to create business impact
These principles and definitions must be operationalized to create a common language and a shared understanding of the components of the strategic framework. Successful collaboration frameworks start with the customers at the core. Those frameworks cover customer-management strategies (including account and opportunity plans), industry strategies, and sales execution plans. Messaging covers how to address different customer stakeholders with the right messages based on their concepts and roles. Another component is knowledge—covering all relevant knowledge areas (e.g., customer, products and solutions, industries, competitors, and internal knowledge). Prepared with such a framework, and ideally embedded in technology, collaboration and enablement platforms—together with integrated SFA/CRM systems—can create great value. The extended sales teams can speak the same language, have access to the same information, and are able to focus on the customer instead of constantly needing to adapt to random, judgment-based tactics driven by individual sales professionals. In this way, conscious collaboration empowers sales communities. 
 
Looking for more interesting data on World-Class Sales Performance? 
 
Posted: 7/21/2014 6:00:00 AM by Tamara Schenk | with 0 comments


Redefining Sales Productivity

How long is a piece of string? It’s an opened-ended question that can have any answer you choose. The definition of sales productivity falls into a similar category, as it can be defined in many ways. Traditional financial definitions look at sales productivity as a factor of cost, head count and revenue. This defines sales as a noun in clear and measurable data, but it does little to enable sales leaders to make decisions and investments that can impact selling, other than managing costs and measuring performance.
 
In the complex world of B2B sales, “productivity” has taken on new meaning. World-class organizations are constantly seeking to improve sales performance and are looking at sales productivity in a new light. They recognize that selling is a verb—it has action, motion, and is always dynamic. They focus on increasing the salesperson’s ability to complete more activities in less time (efficiency) and on improving the quality of the outcomes from those activities (effectiveness). Activity without outcome is wasted effort. Metrics for sales cycle length and opportunity conversion rates by sales stage are examples of data that provide a new perspective on productivity, connecting activities with outcomes.
 
This more dynamic definition of sales productivity illuminates a deeper level of insight into the dynamic of selling. Making more bad sales calls is not the answer. Sales productivity is achieved by increasing the frequency of selling activities and improving the outcomes and results from those customer interactions. The completion of any sales activity should result in an outcome—ideally, advancing the sales cycle. Measuring the frequency and outcomes of sales activities provides insight into what works and what doesn’t and, with that, the ability to target training, messages, content and resources.
 
Tasked with improving sales productivity is the productivity infrastructure comprised of sales operations, training, enablement and technology. These teams specialize in providing the sales organization with winning customer strategies and professional selling skills, along with the knowledge they need to connect to their customer’s concepts, all supported by a sales technology infrastructure. Measuring their impact with traditional productivity metrics does little to capture their value and even less to provide the strategic direction they need to drive performance.
 
Redefining and incorporating sales productivity metrics with traditional performance data provides the sales leader with a multidimensional view of what is currently happening (productivity) and what has happened (performance).
 
Our annual MHI Global Sales Best Practices Study, conducted in the fall each year, compares the behaviors of World-Class Sales Performers and Organizations against all others. Supporting that study is the mid-year MHI Research Institute Sales Performance and Productivity Study. This study focuses on the operational data and metrics of the sales organization. Forecast accuracy, funnel confidence, investments in technology and training, and sales turnover are among the performance and productivity data we collect and analyze. We also explore the elements of the productivity infrastructure and the priorities for each.
 
I invite you to join our research community by participating in the 2014 MHI Research Institute Sales Performance and Productivity Study. The survey is open through the end of July. We will share the results immediately with all participants, along with the additional research we generate through the course of the year from this study. Once you’ve completed the 20-minute survey, we’ll also share the output from last year’s Sales Performance and Productivity Study: the 2014 Strategic Themes Digest, which identifies and illuminates the strategic issues faced by sales leaders for sales operations, training, enablement, and technology; and our summary Research Note The Next Level of Transparency, which highlights the power of productivity data in strategic analysis and decision making.
 
Posted: 7/16/2014 6:00:22 AM by Joe Galvin | with 0 comments
Filed under: Productivity, Sales


Are You Hiring Salespeople With the Right Skills?

They say that the only constant is change. That’s certainly true in sales. New sales technologies, changing economic conditions, mergers and acquisitions, product innovations … the drivers of change are never-ending.
 
One thing that hasn’t seemed to change much over the years is the way managers assess new-hire candidates. Sure, every now and then, someone from HR will introduce a new personality-assessment test. But no matter how interesting and informative the results may be, they still take a back seat to the one thing that hiring managers want to see most – a track record of performance.
 
This focus on results over behaviors is one of the reasons we end up with sales organizations that rely on the output of one or two star performers while the rest of the team is mired in mediocrity. From the very first interaction with a new sales professional, we’re sending the message that all we care about is results. We don’t care how you got there. We don’t care whether you leveraged new technologies. We don’t care whether you shared any of your best practices to improve the performance of the rest of the team.
 
It’s not that results are unimportant. They are critically important, but to hire the best candidate, a few other questions need to be asked. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
 
What kind of team selling did your previous position require?
 
How did you leverage sales technology to improve performance?
 
What sort of sales methodology did your previous employer use, and how did it impact performance?
 
What are some of the best practices you follow?
 
How did you share new knowledge and ideas with other sales professionals in the organization?
 
Even if your candidate achieved 150 percent of goal every year, your drawing a blank on the majority of these questions is not a good sign. The new world of sales needs professionals who know how to be a team player, collaborating with others and sharing ideas through the use of technology. Anything less, and we’ll just keep struggling with the same challenges year after year.
 
Posted: 7/14/2014 6:00:29 AM by Siegfried Kreuzer | with 0 comments
Filed under: sales, sales professional


The Biggest Inhibitors to Sales Success

Consider this scenario.

The first physical meeting with a new customer has been scheduled. To prepare, the account manager invited a colleague from solution sales and an industry expert. A few emails were exchanged and they finally meet for the first time in the customer’s lobby. A quick discussion ensued on who is saying what. All three had a story to tell, but these stories were neither well aligned nor tailored to the customer’s context and concepts. The sales team talked about products and services without having a real conversation with the customer about their issues. Did they provide a winning perspective for the customer? Probably not.

This is just one example of what can get in the way of sales success. There are different inhibitors to sales success in different organizations and in different industries, depending on what and how you sell and how radically the customers’ expectations changed from buying products to achieving measurable business outcomes. There are several different perspectives that come into play when looking at this issue, but one statement is true without any doubt: It’s never just one inhibitor that stands in the way of sales success.
In our 2013 Sales Performance and Sales Productivity Study, the biggest inhibitors to sales success were the following:
  • Communicating value messages and competition - 22%
  • Pricing - 22%
  • Challenge of complex buying requirements -- 19%
  • Inability to attract new clients - 15%  
These four inhibitors covered 78 percent of the inhibitor space.
  
All four are closely connected to each other. If sales professionals are not able to communicate the right value messages to prospects and clients at the right time during the customer’s journey and to the right buyer roles, the other inhibitors are logical consequences.

Value messaging goes south when there is no dynamic messaging framework in place that helps people to tailor messages to the different stages along the customer’s journey and to different buyer roles. When that happens, sales professionals are more likely to find themselves in a competition-driven, price-focused buying process. If customers don’t recognize a significant differentiation in terms of outcomes — which sets a provider apart from the competition — the buying process will make all providers look the same.

Buying environments and requirements become more complex every day due to two elements: (1) an increasing number of impacted stakeholders, and (2) more risk-averse and more financial-results-driven buying processes. Both elements increase buying complexity and buying dynamic. Product value has to be translated into the buyers’ different worlds regarding business results and wins. If all these challenges exist, the fourth challenge, the inability to attract new customers, follows.

Around this time of the year, sales organizations prepare for their strategic planning process in the fall. Sales performance and sales productivity are key metrics to be improved upon continuously. Many data points are relevant, e.g., results of your current initiatives, adjusted roadmaps, latest trends in the industry, and specific sales challenges and how they are addressed in other organizations.

Help us to help you and invest a few minutes to participate in our 3rd MHI Research Institute Sales Performance and Productivity Study 2014. The SPPS 2014 is focused on sales operations, sales enablement, sales training and sales technology. We want to learn more about the scope and the trends regarding sales productivity in different functions. Furthermore, we want to understand your current and future investment priorities. A special focus this year is on the role of frontline sales managers and how well they are equipped, and on the different initiatives driven in sales enablement and/or sales training.

What you can expect from the study as a participant
The findings of the SPPS 2014 will help you as a participant to understand those sales productivity core themes and trends, as well as the related investment trends. Furthermore, the findings will help you with data to support your strategic planning for 2015 in your organization regarding trends, scope and investment priorities.

What’s in it for you - immediately?
In return for investing your time to complete this survey, you will have immediate access to a collection of research published by the MHI Research Institute, the Strategic Themes Digest, and an invitation to our participants' webinar that will feature the results in October.

Click here to get to the study – it’s open through August 1, 2014.
Thank you very much for participating!
 
Posted: 7/9/2014 6:00:00 AM by Tamara Schenk | with 0 comments


Offensive or Defensive Strategy: Which Works Better in Football (and Sales)?

Four of the world’s best teams will be competing for the World Cup and to prove their football (soccer) supremacy. So what really makes these four teams so successful, and what is the link to the sales environment?

Strategy in football is about playing behavior and tactical alignment of the match system. Varying formations provide the base of the strategic direction of a game depending if a more defensive or offensive strategy is more suitable. Football is a complex system, and the coach has many options as to which positions the most suitable players will cover, analysing the team’s and the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as soft factors such as condition, climate, well-being of the player, team spirit and collaboration, plus the ability to apply the corresponding tactics to the concept of the opposite team. Similarly, a complex B2B sales environment is influenced by constant change, highly competitive environment, and varying options for all participants. Much like players taking positions on the playing field, so in every sales process are there various decision-making roles involved. In football and in sales, it is important to be aware of the competitive counterparts. Only then is it possible to adapt the winning strategy by applying the necessary tactics.

Offensive strategy
The aim of the competitive game of football is scoring as many goals as possible. This would mean being at the front with a focus on forward play, using corners as an excellent way to turn offensive opportunities into goals. Having as many goal chances during the 90-minute playing time could result in having the highest points and, ultimately, winning the game. In complex sales there is also limited time, effort and resources for the varying sales activities, so it would be wise to consider an offensive forward style as a possible sales strategy. Select those opportunities worth pursuing by considering the fit to a pre-defined customer criteria, the status of the buying process, or by identifying the positions involved in the sales decision-making process.

Defensive strategy
Although one could argue that “the best defense is a good offense,” winning in football is all about ball possession and being in control of the pace of the game through close team collaboration, thus influencing the amount of scores and conceding goals during the game. In sales, being defensive would mean to be mindful of your resources and assessing your success options – even if that means to win or lose fast. You need to be aware that the customer has choices, such as to buy from somebody else, invest the budget for something else, do nothing, or use internal resources.

Understanding your customers’ needs and providing a solution to them will provide you with the opportunity to be more in charge and in control of the sales process.

The optimum solution is frequently somewhere in between: In order to win and to be the best – equally for both sales and football – it is important to collaborate as a team as well as to differentiate by applying a unique “art of selling”—or football—to the (sales) game. Wishing all the teams a fair and successful World Cup – may the best team win!
 
Posted: 7/7/2014 6:00:00 AM by Alexandra Siebert-Herzig | with 0 comments


Sales Enablement and Technology – The Change Gap

How many Microsoft Word or Excel features do you really use? Ten percent, 20 percent? Most Office users will never write a book and they will also never use more than the basic arithmetic. It’s similar with sales enablement technology, but it doesn’t need to be like that, if the change gap can be closed.

Sales enablement technology is a growing industry
The sales enablement technology industry’s big providers offer sophisticated services that go far beyond the initial enablement and collaboration platforms focused on content: There are sales process modules, integrated to marketing automation; collaborative, workflow based plug-ins for CRM systems; and all services are available on all devices – a perfectly integrated world. Furthermore, niche providers join the market with shiny new apps, etc. But there is a gap between creating good value with technology and being able to leverage technology’s full potential to create much bigger value.

Sales enablement’s core challenges
Listening to the customer success stories at a recent conference, I noticed that the speakers mostly talked about implementing enablement and collaboration solutions, providing and improving content, and developing interactive playbooks. The big integration projects to CRM and marketing automation with instant feedback from buyers were not the primary focus of their stories. Their challenges were people- and change related, e.g., how to establish cross-functional frameworks to drive change across the sales force to be able to leverage technology’s full potential. They shared how they removed collaboration barriers and how they organized and improved content creation, publishing and localization across the organization—all to create significantly more value for the sales force. Those topics define the necessary foundation to drive change, to leverage technology’s full potential, to create significant business impact.

“People don’t leverage the enablement platform”
Whoever worked with salespeople experienced a simple truth: They only use what creates an immediate value for them. Everything else gets little to no attention. Most of them won’t spend much time to rate content or to share their best practices. If they don’t immediately find what they are looking for, they will close the system and call their buddies for immediate help, as they always did. If people don’t understand why they should change to be more effective, they will use new technology like they did the old one. This is where change management comes into play.

Sales enablement is change management
Never start an enablement initiative without a change story. It has to answer the why question from a sales professional’s perspective, plus the question what’s in it for me before you explain the what to do, the how and the when. Change requires internal selling, and salespeople are the most challenging customers.

Even if technology is intuitive, it won’t work without training. Provide short video lessons on how to leverage technology and how to use content effectively. Collaborate with frontline sales managers, work directly with salespeople, and develop “evangelists” to get traction.

Change requires vision, leadership and consequent execution. But leadership is not only a must for the enablement leader. If sales enablement is not a sales leader’s strategic issue, the enablement team alone won’t be able to drive the necessary change. Creating this strategic relevance - driving change from top to bottom - is key to leveraging technology’s full potential successfully.
 
Posted: 7/2/2014 6:00:00 AM by Tamara Schenk | with 0 comments


Coaching Sales Champions – Part 2

Coming back to my theme of football and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where we see 32 teams, built around the most talented players on the globe, compete for the title. Through first-round group qualifications followed by knockout games, two teams emerge to play the final on Sunday, 13 July 2014. Let’s explore what it takes get to and play in the finals, be it football or going through the customer’s selection process for winning the final order. We accept, as noted in my previous blog, sales talent and real teamwork as keys to success. Now, here I want to focus on the strategies, the coaches, and the leadership behind the game.

Exceptional Coaching and Leadership
Taking the best individual sales contributor and promoting him or her into a managerial role is still the most common way of selecting sales managers today. There are numerous flaws to this approach. As sales managers are left to succeed on their own, they replicate how they were managed or else rely on informal and inconsistent mentoring by their managers. Sales managers and, even more so, frontline sales managers, must primarily be able to select, train, lead, coach, and reward their team. “I didn't really want to be the coach who wins but the coach who educates,” says Vicente del Bosque, the only football manager to have won the Champions League with Real Madrid, the European Championship, and the World Cup (both with Spain). Besides being coaches, sales managers are asked to perform another role: that of a customer-management expert, where they’re expected to develop customer relationships, improve productivity, and get involved in strategic initiatives.

Exceptional coaching is based on the customer’s selection process and precisely mapping it to the internal sales funnel. Sales managers establish structure out of the company’s strategy and linking it to the specific sales situation and to the customer contacts involved based on their roles, personal wins, concepts, and current perceptions. For example, during the initial discovery, there will be teaching on effectively uncovering all of the customers’ decision matters and understanding their roles and degree of influence, as well as on identifying the truly important influencer. During client interactions, exceptional coaches let their team drive the engagement while finding the balance between actively contributing and still providing constructive feedback to help their sales team advance the sale, improve their capabilities, and finally win the order.

Clearly illustrating the challenge is this from our Sales Best Practices Study: “Our management team is highly effective in helping our sales team advance sales opportunities,” to which 96 percent of World-Class participants agree, compared to only 43 percent of All Other respondents. This represents a greater thantwo-fold gap, which demonstrates the importance of actively developing frontline sales managers into exceptional coaches and sales leaders.

Who will win the football World Cup in 2014? I am confident it is not the team with the most talented players. All great teams have exceptional talents. In sales as in football, the difference is made through real teamwork and exceptional coaching. Developing talent into exceptional players and giving them a clear role within the team is the start. Exceptional coaching, in sales and football, is aligning the team along a well-communicated strategy and having educated players with the ability to quickly adapt based on imminent changing situations. Be on the watch for these teams and you will be seeing the new football champion of 2014.
 
Posted: 6/30/2014 6:00:00 AM by Klaus Leutbecher | with 0 comments


Sales Is No Place for Luddites

In early 19th-century England, a group of textile artisans known as the Luddites vehemently opposed the introduction of labour-saving technology such as the power loom. Some simply refused to use it. Others became part of organised gangs that destroyed these devises in the dead of night. Things got so bad that the British army was called in to suppress the movement.
 
Perhaps the Luddites’ fear that technology would eliminate jobs was well founded. Perhaps it was simply the fear of change that has plagued mankind since the beginning of time. I’ll let you be the judge.
 
While the Luddites are no more, similar movements have sprung up from time to time. In fact, their modern brethren can be found today in almost any sales organisation. Our modern Luddites are those sales professionals who refuse to use labour-saving sales technology such as sales force automation and knowledge enablement systems.
 
At first glance, you might think there really isn’t much similarity between the Luddites of the Industrial Revolution and those of the information age. Putting aside that our modern Luddites are not smashing their technology (thankfully), I find the similarity striking.
 
Regardless of what reason most salespeople give for not using technology, fear is an underlying factor for many of them. And like the 19th-century Luddites, this fear stems from a loss of a way of life. If I use this new technology, I may not be as effective as I am now. My best sales secrets will become common knowledge, and I’ll lose my advantage over the rest of the team. Sales management will be able to see those deals that I have sitting in my pipeline because I’ve been unable to close them.
 
All of this negative thinking can easily lead a salesperson to at least a passive resistance of technology. “Yes, I know I need to use the CRM system, but it’s clunky and I’m too busy closing deals to figure it out.”
 
Sales leadership needs to separate out valid concerns from the many excuses that the sales professionals give. Sometimes you may need to call in your own version of the army and demand that your Luddites comply. At other times, simply understanding the underlying fears can help you take a gentler approach to ensuring technology adoption.
 
In this day and age, sales technology is not optional, and sales professionals would do well to keep one key thought in mind: The Luddites did not win their battle.
 
Posted: 6/25/2014 6:00:00 AM by Nigel Penhearow | with 0 comments


Sales Champions – Part 1

The biggest global sport event of the year takes place in June and July 2014. It’s the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, commonly known as football or soccer World Cup. What makes football so exciting that more than 750 million spectators around the globe watched the 2006 final between Italy and France? From an amateur’s point of view, football is fun to play, easy to follow and exciting to watch! This brings me to the topics of sales. Selling is a fun job, easy to understand, and it’s exciting to win, from an outsider’s point of view and when executed from a real team with rigor and precision.

Most of all, sales, like football, is about competing at the highest level. And then it’s about winning. What does it take to win? Taking a look at our 2014 Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study helps by examining some of the foundations for becoming true champions.

Beyond Talent
Imagine having many young natural sales talents who quickly adopt new information. Immediately, you let them gain some experience by selling to different clients and markets. Now, supply them regularly with the latest product updates and you’ve got the ultimate selling machine. Lionel Messi, who won the FIFA Ballons d'Or for best player in the world four years in a row by the age of 25, said it all: “In football as in watchmaking [I might add “in sales”], talent and elegance mean nothing without rigor and precision.”

Poorly trained salespeople lead with a product pitch. They focus on features, basic benefits and general advantages of their product or capabilities. Over time they might upgrade the pitch, delivering a presentation that speaks to general market trends, personas and business issues. World-Class Sales Performers take it to the next level by providing perspective. Customers today are looking for sales professionals to understand their business and to challenge their thinking while providing the right solution with rigor and precision to address their personal and professional needs.

In 2014, 93 percent of all World-Class Sales Performers from our Sales Best Practices Study agree that “We clearly understand our customer’s issues before we propose a solution,” in comparison to only 48 percent of All Respondents. When reviewing the positive upward trend for the last four years, we observe the increasing importance of timely focused rigor and precision in each customer interaction.

Real Teamwork
Having a well-balanced sales team with a mix of skilled and experienced individuals is a good start. But sales without support from sales enablement, marketing, services and other parts of the organization will not realize its full potential. To use a quote from Pelé, considered the most important football player of the last century as voted by former Ballon D'Or winners, “I am constantly being asked about individuals. The only way to win is as a team. Football is not about one or two or three star players.” And in today’s football, the team does not stop with 11 players on the field, or with the players, coaches and medical staff on the bench. There are specialized coaches, tactical staff and analytical experts all focused and aligned behind the players, ensuring they win the next game and subsequent championships.

How does winning in football—at whatever level—translate into today’s sales world?

Not having clear company alignment with the customer at the core, missing clear definitions for accounts, poorly resourcing opportunities, and not sharing the same basic understanding throughout the organization all make sales team fail. Salespeople not calling on all available resources in their company in support of their clients have a hard time winning.

“Our organization collaborates across all departments to pursue large deals” gets a thumbs-up from 93 percent of participants from World-Class Sales Organizations, while 46% of All Respondents agree with the statement. Here the trend over the last four years is still improving for world class, but trending down for all others. I attribute this to the typical remedies ranging from organizational changes to layoffs because of poor performance, instead of fostering real teamwork in the organization as a whole and within sales. Winning teams, be they in soccer or sales, know that little improvements make a big difference. So they quickly adapt and consistently learn from defeat to win the next match.

I will be discussing what it takes to win the finals –in a championship match or getting the customer order – in part 2 of this series.
 
Posted: 6/23/2014 6:00:00 AM by Klaus Leutbecher | with 0 comments


What the Dog Whisperer Can Teach Sales Leaders About Social Media

I just got a new dog. A beautiful little Scotty puppy that is a bundle of joy – and of energy. I think I’ll have my hands full for a while teaching the little guy how to behave, at least most of the time.
 
In a way, dogs are a lot like salespeople. Many of them are smart and loyal, but they can also be strong-willed. Without leadership, things can go awry very quickly.
 
A couple of years ago, there was a popular TV reality show called The Dog Whisperer. The host of the show, Cesar Millan, took troubled dogs and taught them how to behave like dogs again. Even the most vicious dogs could become man’s best friend if the owners followed Caesar’s lead.
 
Over and over again, he would tell dog owners that they must set rules, boundaries and limitations for their animals. In the end, some got it. Some never did.
 
As I try to teach my new puppy the meaning of these three words, it occurs to me that what worked for The Dog Whisperer might also work for salespeople and social media. Just as dogs can be man’s best friend, social media can become a sales professional’s best friend.
 
Studies show that more and more sales professionals are using social media regularly to generate opportunities and close business. However, to many sales leaders, social media looks like a snarling pit bull. (Or Chihuahua. Fans of the show know that these little guys can sometimes be the most vicious.) They fear what their employees are saying, how they are saying it and to whom.  How on earth can they get it and keep it all under control?
 
Like Millan’s dogs, salespeople need rules, boundaries and limitations, too. Many of us are comfortable setting these for other areas such as workplace behaviors. But we’re reluctant to set them for social media. After all, we don’t want to quash creativity and employee empowerment.
 
The reason setting rules, boundaries and limitations seemed to work so well for Millan was that the dogs knew what to expect and what was expected of them. The same can be said of social media and your sales team.
 
If you expect salespeople to maintain a presence, let them know which platforms to use and the expectations for interaction. For example, sales might be expected to maintain a presence on LinkedIn, but with limited expectations for interaction. Customer-service professionals might need to maintain a very active presence on Twitter and Facebook, with responsibilities for monitoring and responding to direct messages within a certain time frame.
 
Employees also need to know the rules for online behavior, e.g. no bad-mouthing customers, no political or religious discussions, no comments of a sexual nature, etc.
This shouldn’t be so hard. Most of these guidelines are the same ones you set in your workplace.
 
There’s one more important similarity between The Dog Whisperer’s philosophy and sales leadership. Millan urges dog owners to be the leader of their pack. So, too, must sales leaders be the leader of their pack – the sales team. Remember, where you go, your pack will follow.
Posted: 6/18/2014 6:00:00 AM by Kent Bailey | with 0 comments


Displaying results 1-10 (of 127)
 |<  < 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10  >  >|