A wish for 2018

most in 2017 which can be improved in 2018. Something that has an impact on people’s happiness and their performance in business. That something happened to be the uncertainty regarding the future of business. With a world in turmoil (as ever!), significantly changing buying behaviours by business people, fake news and volatile politicians one asks oneself, what’s next and how will it affect the business. There are no crystal balls to predict what’s next, but we can prepare and influence what is to come. Especially when you are the leader of the business.

What you need for this is some of the following:

Inspire the people around you. It’s easy to manage by KPI’s. They give you concrete and objective feedback. But they also distract you from looking at the human part of leading people: managing behaviour, holding people accountable and creating a positive workplace to work in.

Build, stimulate and maintain an environment where people take initiative, bring valuable ideas to you, which enhance business growth, motivation and the feeling of involvement.

Raise expectations. If you make your expectations to clear to people, you can hold them also accountable for doing the right things. How often don’t we hear about managers not being clear enough about what they expect from their people and what they don’t. The result is miscommunication, unnecessary mistakes, loss of productivity and frustration.

Have a healthy balance between empathy and courage. Empathy to understand why people act the way they do and courage to act in difficult situations. Not taking a decision or procrastinating because you don’t dare, can be killing. The problem won’t go away. It usually gets worse! When you act in a balanced way, even in difficult situations you get people to understand you much better and support your decisions.

Self-reflect at least once a day. Reflecting helps you to think about how your thoughts are regarding different situations you were in and what you could have done to get a better or different result. It also helps you to learn from successes and failures and improve for the next time.

Saying “Sorry”. We all make mistakes. We all sometimes act stupid. Don’t wait until you get yourself into trouble. If you have made a mistake or done something stupid, don’t hesitate to say sorry. It will earn you a lot of respect from the people around you. It will also make you feel good.

And last but surely not least: when you achieve the above mentioned, you retain your best people, attract the best candidates for your vacancies and boost motivation and achieve the success you need for the organization.

So why am I telling you this? Because with a happier and successful team, you as a business leader can achieve the best for the organization you lead, and it helps you go to work every day with a feeling that you are part of a winning team.

Want to know more how create such a place to work? Contact me at robert@peterson-company.com or follow me on LinkedIn.

I invite you to visit our Websites: www.peterson-company.com , www.peterson-company.nl , www.salesprofessional.eu www.robertpeterson.eu .

Understanding your Sales Team's performance better.

More and more I meet business leaders who are puzzled with the under performance of their sales teams. Here in Europe our economies in general are doing well and still, quite some companies are struggling when it comes to sales growth with a healthy profit.

The question is: why is the sales performance of many companies not keeping up with the economy or the market they are in?

There are many answers to this.

Here are some main reasons:

  • The comfort zone. Humans are humans and humans have difficulty in changing habits. Whereas the world of selling and doing business has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, sales people still tend to sell in a very traditional way. It’s very comfortable to operate within your comfort zone. In the long run it will harm your business.
  • Existing resistance to change by sales leadership and the team. In a rapid changing world sales managers and leaders find it challenging to adapt to demands by their people. Where KPI’s have long been an instrument to monitor performance, managing behaviour, attitude, team spirit and other less tangible instruments have become more effective means to raise motivation and performance.
  • Lack of realisation that the market has become more complex to handle. A common remark one would hear from more senior sales people and leaders is: I have always done it this way. The problem is that the market place is evolving rapidly. Internet and the science behind sales is offering us better insights in how sales decisions are made. If you don’t keep up with these changes, they will overtake you by surprise.
  • Lack of drive for success. Accepting mediocrity is killing for sales people. Competition is often overwhelming.  In a turbulent business world with many challenges, drive is one of the most important competencies in achieving success.
  • Management not knowing or understanding what’s going on in the sales team. An overload of excuses makes the sales horizon even more diffuse. This leads to lack of action to ramp up the sales performance and poor results.
  • Taking the wrong actions to try and solve sales performance results. I remember a situation where a company hired a sales consultant for a period of a year to find out what was wrong with the sales team. After a year and earning a hefty income the consultant could only report in vague conclusions what was wrong with the team and what the solutions would be. Aspects concerning sales methodology, process, pipeline analysis and management, drivers of success and more were not touched and even ignored.

Conclusion: A lot of the above mentioned reasons are difficult to measure in real life. Sometimes sales leaders or managers at C-level don’t even realise what’s going on in their sales teams until it’s too late. Often they choose an approach which is time consuming and very costly.

A better approach could be by trusting more in the science behind sales. More than just observations or vague assumptions, our innovative solutions can deliver sustainable and effective sales performance improvement within months. The investment will be much less than you think and will deliver you effective and sustainable revenue growth.

If you want to know more, please contact me here.

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Secret to a successful Sales Process

A couple of years ago during a meeting with a prospective Sales Director he complained that his salesforce was not using the sales process in which they invested. He mentioned that management had hired a consulting firm to develop the process and it was not being used properly. In fact, the sales force was finding all excuses you can imagine for not using it. The investment had become a burden. He was quite frustrated about the situation and was ready to scuttle the project.

I offered help which was accepted. A program where we got the sales team to brainstorm and develop their own sales process. They were allowed to use what they could from the first sales process which they did. Within weeks there was a new sales process in place and working. When compared to the sales process developed by the consulting firm, there were many similarities between both processes.

So what was learned from this case?

When you get people involved to solve a problem, they usually come up with surprising results. And as it becomes their baby, they tend to do everything to make a success out of it.

This is called participative management and has a direct impact on motivation!

Want to know more? Feel free to contact me.