Do you know the real reasons why your people are wasting time?
When I ask company leaders for the reasons why their sales people are wasting time when it comes to growing sales for their organizations, here are some of the responses that I get:
Too much time spent chasing bad or unqualified prospects.
Too much time spent chasing deals that aren’t the right fit for our company.
Delayed decisions on potential deals.
Not getting to all of the decision makers early in the sales process.
Calling on the same prospects instead of new ones.
Avoiding productive behavior (prospecting for new business, asking for referrals, etc.) by doing administrative tasks during times they should be meeting with prospects and clients.
So, you set revised sales goals or put together sales contests with big financial incentives, or company paid trips if they hit certain short-term sales targets that you believe will motivate them and fix these issues. For a short period of time, they do get better, but soon your people slip back into the same behaviors and patterns of wasting time as before.
The reason for this is that these are just symptoms of the real problems, and your solutions aren’t getting to the root of the issues.
The real problems are:
Your people lack clarity on what is required to be successful (i.e. What does a good prospect look like, what makes a qualified prospect, the steps/milestones to be accomplished in an effective sales process, etc.)
Your people don’t see how achieving the company sales goals (that are set for them) will help them to achieve their personal goals.
Your first goal should be to sit down with your sales people and figure out what their personal goals are and what motivates them to want to hit or exceed your company’s sales goals. From there, you need to help them understand how hitting these company goals will help them achieve their personal goals, and agree on how and when to keep them accountable to these goals. After that, you need to spend time with them to help them gain clarity on who they need to be going after for new business, and how to be most effective at getting there.
A couple of key points to remember when it comes to motivating and coaching your people:
Where there is clarity, energy soon follows.
People only stretch and go outside their comfort zones for the pool in their backyard, not the one in yours.