This article outlines how holding a short weekly sales meeting can drastically improve performance if the meeting is focused on the right topics. This article is part of a 4 article series by guest author Stephen Pearson from the Cambridge, Ontario branch of Franklin Covey Co. Canada. If you are not familiar with Franklin Covey it was found by Stephen Covey he is best known for his original best selling book titled “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People”. Now here is the article....
This is the fourth article of this 4 article series on executing your sales strategy. If you have not read the first article titled Executing Your Sales Strategy, you may wish to start there.
What steps do you need to take to maximize your probability of successfully achieving your sales strategy and goals? Franklin Covey has spent almost 10 years researching and developing a process to dramatically increase a team’s ability to execute on their strategy. The result is a simple, 4-step process called “The 4 Disciplines of Execution®”.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution® are:
4. Create a Cadence of Accountability
The Example For This Article Series
The scenario includes a fictitious company called Company eMarketing. Lets assume this company is launching their new, breakthrough service. This service is ideal for companies in the technology sector who utilize the internet as a core part of their business activity, or product/service. The pricing and scope of eMarketing's new service makes it appropriate for companies of 100 employees or larger, or revenue of $1 million/year. The ideal decision makers for considering this product include such titles as: VP of Product Development; VP of Operations; VP of Software Engineering; or a variation thereof. eMarketing wants to achieve $500K in sales in year 1; $1 million in year 2; and $4 million by year 5. They have selected team of 5 key sales reps to train on how to position and sell this new service, and to reach key technology sectors in Ontario, Quebec and BC.
So, eMarketing has the basic elements of a general sales strategy: Target price; target market; target decision makers; revenue/sales targets & benchmarks; target locations; timeframe; skilled & trained sales team to execute the strategy and the allocation of various resources to this project.
Of course there are many other pieces that may go into a sound sales strategy, but for the purpose of this simple example the main bases have been covered here.
4. Create a Cadence of Accountability
One of the biggest challenges, after the “rah-rah” of a product launch, or strategy launch, is to keep people accountable, ‘on-task’, and following through on their commitments.
As a leader, how do you do that?
Franklin Covey suggests that, once the right WIG’s have been identified by each team, as they relate to the larger company WIG, and each team member has identified how he/she contributes to that WIG, and what lead measure activity they are responsible for and can act on, then a fast, simple weekly WIG Session will help keep people on track. With the scoreboard and lead measures known to each team member, team members make weekly commitments on what activity can most influence the scoreboard, schedule time for that activity, and report back on their success, or failure, the following week.
These weekly WIG sessions typically last only 15-20 minutes. It is the leader’s job to identify where people are struggling and how they can help “clear the path” to help their people execute on the lead measures and fulfill their weekly commitments if there are barriers in the way. The leader is also receiving weekly feedback from team members, so he/she can quickly see if course corrections are necessary and quickly make the changes needed. So in the example provided if the 3 lead measures for the particular team is sales calls, sales meetings and facebook likes then this meeting would be to review where people are falling behind in these three activities and how to schedule the next week to maximize the amount of activity towards these activities. In this meeting each person would commit to how much activity they plan to accomplish in each lead measure. So for example employee A may commit to 200 sales calls, 0 sales meetings and 0 facebook likes, while employee B would commit to 50 sales calls, 5 sales meetings and 10 facebook likes.
Standing up, or phoning-in, every week to announce to your peers and manager/leader whether you completed your commitment from the week before is a powerful motivator for a team-member to do what they said they were going to do.
While simple in its steps, rolling this process out, in practice, has its challenges. Franklin Covey has a pool of experienced consultants across North America who act as “Execution Specialists” assisting companies, organizations and teams with their execution. With help from these Execution Specialists, hundreds of organizations have adopted this process and have achieved incredible results, including breakthroughs in revenue, profitability, customer satisfaction, cost savings and generating a gusher of new customers. Better still, once an organization is up and running and successfully executing with The 4 Disciplines of Execution®, they can now conduct this process on their own, on an on-going basis, without outside help and apply it to any department or functional area they wish. It becomes a part of their organizations DNA, and the results are often amazing.
Stephen Pearson is an Associate Client Partner with Franklin Covey C. Canada. He services the Ontario market including but not limited to Kitchener, Cambridge, Guelph and Waterloo helping companies to instill behaviors in their employees that help with goal and objective achievement.
To learn more about achieving goals and objectives follow his blog at http://franklincoveystephenpearson.blogspot.com or check out their website at www.franklincovey.ca. If you want a copy of Stephen Covey's book The 4 Disciplines of Execution for yourself to read the entire book, you can probably find it pretty cheap on amazon or eBay.
Thanks again to Stephen for writing this great article series. My name is Chris R. Keller and I work at Profitworks helping various B2B small businesses in Waterloo and Kitchener generate new customers. If you need help developing and executing a sales & marketing plan to generate new customers but don't know where to start contact us at Profitworks. Or if you are just interested in keeping up to date on issues related to generating new customers for B2B small businesses consider subscribing by email to this blog.
I hope you have found this blog article on using a weekly sales meeting to drive results informative.