How to Deal with the UN-Culture Blocking your Team’s Sales Growth Path
Presidents and business owners voice their challenges at “The Sales Fight of Your Business Life CEO Roundtable”:
“I have aggressive sales growth plans to double. How do I find and hire stronger salespeople who can achieve the vision? My current ones aren’t cutting it.”
“Motivating salespeople virtually seems to be a much-needed skill in today’s selling world. My sales managers, both new and seasoned, are ineffective at casting a positive vision for the salespeople. What might I do to get them on track?”
And, this concern caught my imagination:
“My salespeople lack a positive vision for the future – a picture that keeps them motivated and energized. It feels they are stuck.”
These are their sales strategy concerns…
What frustrations do you have about exceeding your sales growth goals?
Deal with the UN-culture that’s Blocking your Sales Growth
In the intro for this series, we introduce 5 characteristics of a Sales UN-culture. What’s a Sales UN-culture? It’s where the sales systems, processes, and staffing don’t support a pathway to sales success.
The first is “UN-focused.”
Here’s what one leader said… “My salespeople are UN-focused and anxious. Every new bit of distressing news distracts them.”
Does Your Sales Strategy Cast Vision? or Crush Vision?
As leaders, we earn the reputation of being a:
- Vision Caster, or a
- Vision Crusher.
That seems harsh, I know. And sometimes, especially when there’s a crisis, Casting Vision and thinking about Vision, Mission, and Values seems like fluffy stuff. You have more important crisis issues to focus on, right?
Wrong! This is an opportune time for vision-casting, one of the primary roles and responsibilities of any leader.
I invite you to reflect on these questions:
- What might I do to be a vision caster, inspiring my sales managers and salespeople to focus forward, on the “what” of the future?
- Where am I inadvertently being a vision crusher, keeping my sales team locked on the “why” of the past with it’s problems?
Vision Crushing… and how it Fuels the Sales UN-culture
So, how do we inadvertently crush and destroy the dreams of those around us, as well as our own dreams, hopes, and aspirations?
We lament the past…too long.
Now, let’s be pragmatic. Experts, like Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, say that lamenting the past is an important part of our grieving process. It’s expected, with all the changes that have happened this last year with Covid Craziness. For most of us, it’s been crazy both personally, as well as professionally.
During this lamenting stage, we hear questions that focus on the past. Questions like:
“Why did this happen?”
“Why did this happen…to me…now?”
“Why is everyone messing up – the sales manager, the salespeople, the marketing department?
There may be a season to focus on the past. But, Dr. Kübler-Ross warns that it is unhealthy and unproductive to get stuck in this phase.
A Vision Crusher never gets out of this unhealthy and unproductive stage. These WHY questions turn into even bigger obstacles, obstructing your team’s pathway to success.
Check out my video: Are you a Vision Caster or Crusher?
UN-focus. Sales managers and salespeople don’t have a compelling plan for their future. They don’t know where they are going. They walk through their day aimlessly, easily distracted by anything and everything…including distressing news.
Vision-Casting…and the Positive influence on Sales Growth
What is the first word in our power-packed Question – What might I do to make a positive impact?
Vision-Casting leaders ask what, instead of why. They ask “What might I do to make a positive impact?”
Notice the emphasis on the first word, “what.”
At first glance, it appears to be a small difference, asking “what” instead of “why.” Is it really that big of a deal? I believe it is.
Asking “what” questions invites us to imagine a compelling, appealing, positive picture of the future. To focus on the future and what we want to see happen. It sparks hope.
I find it interesting that “hope” is the most often searched word on the internet these days. So, what might you do to spark hope in your sales teams? What does this look like, practically?
Vision-casting leaders know that crafting and casting crystal-clear Vision, Mission, and Values Statements is NOT fluff. It’s critical to:
– Focusing the team’s energy on the right goals,
– Getting the traction needed to progress forward,
– Motivating a fully engaged team that brings their whole self to work, and
– Finding, recruiting, and retaining top-tier talent.
3 Areas to Cast Vision for a Focused and Compelling Sales Strategy
As a Vision-Caster, who’s committed to asking WHAT (vs. why) there are 3 important areas to focus on:
- Professional and personal goals of your sales staff,
- Sales performance, and how to increase sales NOW
- Yourself and your business and/or team.
Focus 1: Professional and Personal Goals of your Sales Team
Encourage your salespeople to ask themselves the WHAT question to energize their own dreams and aspirations. What do they want to accomplish in the next year? The next 5 years? Their lifetime?
My e-book, Energize Your Dreams is a valuable resource for this process. It is packed with goalsetting and goal-alignment ideas. Send me an email at Danita@DanitaBye.com and I’ll send you a copy.
It’s a resource for you to work side by side with your sales manager and salespeople so they can:
- break their sales growth goals down into manageable chunks
- Set SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based.
Focus 2: Sales performance, and how to increase sales NOW
Use “What” questions to spark your sales team to envision how to increase sales this week, this quarter, this month.
Here are some examples of future-focused “what” questions you might:
- Pipeline Questions to Focus on How to Improve Sales Growth
- What is the pipeline telling you about your sales?
- What will it take to replace the revenue impact of COVID-19?
- What needs to happen to your pipeline in the next 120 days to finish this year strong?
- What are three specific actions we can take in the next 90 days that will have a significant impact on your pipeline?
- What are your new priorities for the next 6 months?
- Account Management Questions to Strengthen Your Sales Strategy
- What is the status of your Top 10 Accounts?
- What might be done to stabilize their business?
- What might you do to grow their business or reduce their costs?
- What additional competitive pressure are you expecting and what are your plans to deal with it?
- What did you discover about their growth plans when you had your Executive Strategic Review with them?
- Business Development Questions to Drive Sales Growth
- What is the status of your Top 10 Prospects?
- What new industries and markets might you need to target to fill your funnel?
- What are you hearing from your prospects?”
Focus 3: Yourself and your business and/or team
The first two areas focus on the sales managers and the salespeople. Now, let’s talk about you. As you’re coming out of Covid Craziness, how are you doing?
I’m amazed by how many CEOs, presidents, and business owners confess that they lack a positive vision for the future – a picture that keeps them motivated and energized.
Do you need to go back to the drawing board to revitalize your own personal vision, mission, and values statements?
Do you want to gain clarity on your goals?
For many of us, the Covid-19 pandemic dropped a bunch of new obstacles on our pathway.
As a vision-casting leader, it’s time to gain clarity on your personal vision, values, and virtues. This is critical to gain clarity professionally and be fully engaged to lead your team.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Vision Statement Addresses UN-focus
Did you know that 92 percent of Millennials believe that business success should be measured by more than just profit? This confirms that Millennials are looking for a leader with a vision that shows how the leader and the company is serving the world.
- Values Statement Strengthens your Leadership Impact
As a leader, you are challenged to align your personal values with your leadership mission. Authenticity and integrity are vital character traits needed to building a healthy culture that makes a positive impact.
I invite you to read these articles. They have loads of practical tips.
Then, ensure you are aligned with the vision, values, and virtues of your business. Are you still excited to get up, go to work, and lead the business?
If yes, great. If not, you may find it life-changing to invest the time to reflect on your own personal calling in life.
Watch My video here: How to Increase Sales by Casting a Positive Compelling Vision
Stop the Sales UN-Culture with Every Sales Strategy Conversation
Commit today to making your first Bold Decision and ask…
“What might I do to make a positive difference?”
How to Manage Millennials
Become a leader that is a Vision Caster, where you’re asking of yourself, as well as those on your leadership and sales teams – What might I do to make a positive difference?”
As a vision-casting leader, you get to make these bold choices moment by moment as you lead your teams. Every choice matters. Every moment matters. Every coaching conversation matters.
And most importantly, your leadership matters greatly during this season.
Read the first post in the 5 Success Mindset series:
Don’t miss our next post in the 5 Success Mindsets series: Innovation
Sales Growth Lesson: Don’t allow external circumstances to shift your focus. Ask “what” questions to cast a future-focused vision that will put you and your team back on a growth track.
Sales Growth Question: What might you do to make a positive difference in your Millennial salesperson’s future-focused vision?