Editor's Note: This blog post has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on May 29, 2020.
Tis the time of year when sales leaders reflect on what they’ve learned, accomplished or perhaps muffed this past year. They’ve thought about what they did or didn’t do that impacted the end result (hitting the sales goal), and have justifiably created elaborate explanations for success or failure. Here is the obvious—the year has come and gone, you can’t change it. So, reflect only with the purpose of understanding what can be done differently to affect future growth. In that spirit...
below are five critical questions every sales leader should ask themselves:
- This past year, did I positively impact the lives of those on my team?
- If I missed my number this year, am I truly taking responsibility, or am I blaming the sales people, our market, the company?
- If I hit my number, do I truly understand why?
- If I quit and my spot wasn’t filled, would my team still hit goal?
- What am I going to do differently next year to achieve greater results?
If asked I’ll gladly pontificate on the merits of coaching, leadership and their impact on team performance, etc., but it is often more fun to pose questions. Asking questions make people think more than if a statement is made. Done well, questions should be more introspective and will evoke a more intelligent response. They engage rather than remove. They empower versus usurp. They are more likely to create action.
Even though strategies have been crafted and plans drafted for 2015, get your management team together and have all of them answer the above five questions. Don’t accept simple “yes/no” responses, but make sure graphic examples are the proof source for the words. Make them think hard about how they, as a coach, are impacting results!
Since what a team produces is a direct correlation of how they are coached—look for ways to raise YOUR lid so YOUR team can raise theirs. Don’t overcomplicate what needs to get done next year and always begin with what YOU can do to improve the way YOU coach teams.
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