Categories
Collaberation Influence Leadership Personal development Strategy

Its within our control to fix it

All to often we get caught up in why are management not fixing this! No matter where you are in an organisation you can influence an outcome. Everyday we are held back from success, but often the things that are holding us back are not clearly laid out, for others to understand or to solve or we dont see it as our responsibility to resolve. Living in hope that someone will find a solution.

Hope is not a strategy. What we walk pass is what we accept. So how do we address? Firstly understanding the problem we are trying to solve:

1. Problem statement.

2. Get a cross section of people together to discuss

3. Brainstorm solutions to the problem.

4. Agree on the best solution.

This is a far better approach than coming up with the solution when there is no recognition or understanding of the problem you are solving. The other benefit is the owner of the solution emerges. No matter how many times you go through the process the owner always emerges, as people naturally want to help and always want to be delivering outcomes that elevate pain.

An example: a team of account managers are dealing with many questions from their customers a day. Due to the newness of the business, many questions are being asked for the first time, and then again and again by different customers. The time management and CX is very poor, as the time it takes to deal with each request is not always straight forward. The problem statement ” How do we remove the burden of multiple questions from customers to Account Managers, increase the consistency and timeliness of responses, to free account managers up to focus on driving initiatives and enablement of their customers”

Because this problem statement is broad, having a cross section of staff across the business, enables solutions to be sought and the owner emerges.

STOP saying: thats not my teams issue, as it is because it impacts your team. The team that own the solution often are unaware of the issue or size of the issue, so framing the problem statement and finding solutions together is far more effective.

It’s within our control to fix it.

Categories
High Performing Teams Personal development Sales leadership

Toxic Sales Cultures

Not a day goes by when this topic is not discussed. In the last week I have met with a number of people in the tech industry and the theme is consistent the days of “just get your number” are on the brink of extinction. There are some last bastions of this approach, but they are usually devoid of women, diversity and team work.

Yes coaching for success and making your people feel great so they can be successful is the only way to truly a high performing team in sales. If you work in a culture which is “just get your number”  then its important to know the new world of sales is very different.  The new world is about building a territory plan, working on the execution and coaching for success.

The “bully boy” approach may work with some men and young women who know no other way, there is a far more successful approach. HR practitioners, ensure you are not protecting the bully boy behaviour!

We need more sales people and the “50’s” method of get your number, is a way to put people off sales for life. It does not need to be that way. We could ensure more people are successful, and that will breed more success, Sales can have a great name and thrive in a great culture instead of a tribal culture, where the ones that know how to get results succeed the the others leave. This culture celebrates lone wolf behaviour which is detrimental to the well being of others in the team. The getting results is not by means we all know, they can be gaming the system, favouritism by the boss leading to the best portfolio and other scam that makes you look successful.  These cultures are toxic and lead to what looks like good sales results, but the underlying damage to customers is long term deterioration of revenue and customer satisfaction.

5 signs that the toxic behaviours are embedded:

1. Salespeople are under so much pressure to achieve numbers they create ways to achieving it dishonestly. Here are some of the worst I have personally experienced: photocopying signatures on contracts, selling a lesser product which does not fit business needs in order to sign a new Sale, but destroying the customer experience. Sell products that are later credited due to customer not understanding what they have signed.

2. “Best performing” sales people rewarded with best portfolios when their previous portfolio, signed business which is now hit with credits due to poor selling. The incoming sales person’s performance is radically impacted without the previous sales person being impacted.

3. Lone wolfs are celebrated, as they are seen as successful. One of the side effects of individual targets, is there no such thing as team players, everyone is out for themselves.

4. Gaming of territory and portfolio is rife in order to secure the target. Letters are written from the customer asking for a specific sales person or another person signing a customer knowing they are not in their portfolio.

5. Overcharging, not cancelling products that are not used, not passing on discounts that new customers have access to, all erode the trust with a customer. Not being a “trusted advisor” in account management is only going to result in the customer churning to the competition. In a toxic sales culture, salespeople work on the short term principle on the customer focused principle of Life time value.

The future of great sales cultures, is one that is supportive, nurturing, diverse, customer focused, group targets, to develop collaboration, leverage skills across the team, every success is celebrated no matter how small, lone wolf behaviour is not accepted, diversity is the norm.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Leadership Legacy Personal development

David Thodey’s Legacy

What is your legacy?

I had the privilege of working under David Thodey’s leadership. The first time I met David I was at a function at Jones Bay wharf, Pyrmont, Sydney. There were approximately 150 customers waiting on the balcondavid thodeyy outside Doltone house. David came over to every group where he said hello to each person and engaged in conversation, before politely moving onto the next group. By the time we sat down for dinner, he had circulated and spoken to all the customers.

That was my first impression. The second encounter was at the leadership kick off in Melbourne where he spoke about passion for doing the right thing for the customer, focus on business and personal growth and lastly “don’t be compliant”.  I was blown away. In three sentences he nailed the priorities and delivered with great clarity. He then went on to bring each one alive with a personal story. Unforgettable.

David’s legacy will live on. In David’s article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hardest-thing-weve-donechanging-our-culture-david-thodey?trk=prof-post #1 PROVIDING GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE IS NO LONGER OPTIONAL. He has changed the culture of Telstra where the customer is the centre of everything, and Leadership is about transparency and learning every day

I learned from David the importance of a single message of focus. Everyone in the company understood what were we were doing and why? The culture and core values hold us all accountable.

In my own team managing 2,600 business customers, I lead by example ensuring that all customer escalations are dealt with promptly. To ensure we have resolved the issue I ask the Manager to set up a meeting with the customer, we meet face to face to ensure all aspects of any issue are resolved.

What is your legacy?