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Approaching mid year, business leaders are feeling the pressure of not achieving sales strategic goals. You have an experienced sales team and a solid sales process in place. When it comes to executing sales strategy, leaders are the ones driving the initiatives within the team. You might be wondering: What is missing?. There are 5 signs that is indicating your team may not reach success. Look out for these in your team:

  1. “My boss told me to do this”

If you hear that from the team, that means they are unclear about the expectations from the leader. The execution is happening because the initiative is pushed down to the team from the leader. You may also see underperforming behaviors throuhout the process.

Push generates resistance; pull creates ownership. This is the failure at the first step – Expectations. If the team is clear about the expectation and embrace the WHY, team is more likely to take the initiatives and run with it with passion.

  1. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”

I hear this especially from seasoned sales guys. Sales is a role that was very much depending on experiences and network. The ones with 20 years experiences and success track record are the ones tend to repeat the way they do things. This is a mindset block. Because the experience and network worked before, it does not mean that it will work every time. COVID has changed the way people making connections in business. Companies are continuously evolving their business models to stay competitive. If everything else is changing, why aren’t you?

Depending on the challenges you are facing, a shift of mindset can be tremendously helpful to open eyes for opportunities to connect with customers. A shift of mindset is powerful for making small improvements. If you add 1% of chance for success everyday, over a year of time it compounds to 37% more chances for success! A small improvement may seems tiny at any snap shot of time. The compounding effect is tremendous.

3.”I am very busy with the customer, I will get to it when I have time”

Many leaders I worked with told me that when they are driving a new sales initiative, this is often one of the response they get from the team. While the leaders are wondering what is driving the “change resistance”? These are typically the ones who are procrastinating. The procrastination was due to their fear for failures. Surprisingly, those are often the high performers. Because they are high performers, the fear for failure took over the desire for actions. What does procrastination do to execution? Not making progress…

How to overcome procrastination? Set clear goals, focus on the small actions ahead, while measure towards success.

  1. “I am waiting for the customer to call me back”

It is a fine line between annoying vs. waiting. One of my favorite sales coach once said to me:”Is your phone broken?!” Meaning that it is up to you to call the customers. In innovation, it is often said:”The answer is outside of the building.”. The answer to a solution stays with the customers. And a successful sale starts with the conversation with a customer.

If you feel that you are being annoying by reaching out to the customers, ask yourself:” Who is feeling that way? You or the customer?”…

  1. Leader asks:”How is the strategy going?”

Team answers:”It is going well.”

Seasoned sales guys like to rely on “gut feeling”. Often, a good sales person can “smell” the money. However, sales strategy is not only about gut feeling. It is just like a project. Transparency ensures accountability and success. Without seeing the progress, how do you know whether it is really going well or not?

Managing sales like a project with structures can increase the chances for success, and help the team with a funnel down process focusing on high impact items which maximize the opportunities for success. Interesting thing with change is that you do not see it, unless you look back. In projects, we sat monitoring and controlling. The trick is that without monitoring, there will be no controlling.

If you are seeing these signs in your team, it is time to introduce a structured approach and accountability for execution . ZL Accountability System is a combination of “5-Step Method and Accountability Coaching. The “5-Step Method” provides the structure to help the team funnel down to high impact actions in order to front load success enablers. The Accountability Coaching is just like a navigation guidance, keep the team on track. There is no magic training to implement accountability in the team right away. Accountability is a behavior change which takes time and effort. Success comes from method+effort+time, and some luck. Good luck!

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