As we lead our sales teams, we do everything in our power to hit our sales goals and grow our business. We define processes so we can have efficient execution. We employ never ending searches for time saving, cutting edge technologies. We develop strategic plans so we can have predictable outcomes. We manage sales activity so we can ensure we hit our quarterly number and annual goals. We constantly strive to do more, always looking for the next great growth tool and opportunity. This isn't enough anymore! Too often, sales leaders stop there. They see the above processes, management processes, as the only items they can affect that lead to increases in performance. Sadly, too many will never see the results, the exponential growth that can come from working beyond management. Great management skills can temporarily raise the numbers, but without adapting and utilizing all the drivers of team performance, growth will inevitably wane and in most cases revenues will eventually decline.
Maintaining Sustainable Growth Isn't Easy
The challenge for today’s sales manager is this: workplace demands for the non-management skills and behaviors that maximize performance are increasing, but the emphasis, due to factors such as technology and pressures to “hit the earnings number” cause us to place greater emphasis on bringing predictable order to our respective teams. Management is order. And, sustainable growth is not found in order.
Consider the following…
- If you were a white collar worker in the 1980’s, you wouldn’t have spent one minute of your day sorting through email, but within five years you were expected to respond to 50+ daily requests from colleagues, associates, customers, family members and old college buddies. Today the average worker receives and sends almost 150 emails each day. http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Survey-Corporate-Email-2011-2012-Executive-Summary.pdf
- If you were a business leader 10 years ago you had an average of eight key performance indicators to track, today the number exceeds 80.
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, today’s learner will have 10-14 jobs by the age of 38.
- Half of the world’s population is under age 30.
- The biggest movement changing our world (the social media revolution) is more understood and led by those in their 20’s.
- The millennial generation (Gen Y) considers themselves “loyal” to a company after 18 months of employment.
- In 2010, 21.4 million websites were added. In 2011, 300 million were added.
- From 2009 to 2011 the percentage of businesses with a blog grew from 48% to 65%. 57% of companies using blogs reported that they acquired customers from leads generated directly from their blog. http://thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/some-quick-handy-stats-about-social-media-and-lead-generation/
- Flash dances at your local mall, overthrown governments, riots, most any world changing event can (and may likely) begin in a dorm room with a text, tweet or post.
There is no arguing the increasingly dynamic culture of our world and workplace, leading to environments that are more complex than any time in history. As a result, without a deep knowledge and ability to employ all performance drivers, managers, teams and entire organizations will be left in the dust.
In my next blog post I will share a story the demonstrates why management is not longer enough to create the level of growth that is expected from the sales department by upper management.
What's making your job a challenge these days and what are you doing about it?
What are you doing to ensure sustainable growth in your department?