With the headlong rush towards what is new and exciting in technology and business tools, it is timely to ensure that we remember what works and is very necessary to create stability and certainty in a sales and in a sales force.
New is great. Everybody loves new. New products, new features, new ways to improve, new ways to sell, new ways to communicate and on it goes. But new can also be challenging. With this in mind, here are two practices that will always work, every time, guaranteed. They are tried and proven practices of master managers who combine business savvy with good judge-ment about people.
Get a simple song and sing it at every opportunity.
The enemy of sales success is complication. Unfortunately some organisations seem to have vested interest in complication. They create processes and procedures that slow their ability to do business down to a crawl. The same thing can happen with the procedures that support the sales process.
Now, let’s understand that almost every sales person who is ever asked about systems and procedures will tell you that there are just to many. As a group most sales people like to fly freely and unfettered. The challenge is managing so there is a reasonable balance between freedom to perform and the needed rigor of systems – even when change is happening rapidly.
Lessons from the field
I have had the privilege of working with two managers who showed how to handle change and challenge and still create market-leading results. George Lawson, GM of retail banking and Gary Walmsley, Senior Manager Sales at the Bank of Melbourne (BML). As a partnership they worked with clarity and simplicity as their guides. BML had a market leading position in the Victorian market. One of the strong contributing factors was, George knew howto select and sing a simple song – and have everyone join in. There is no doubt that banking is a complex business. George’s gift was that he would choose a theme and wherever he was, in meetings, with branch staff, with the sales team, he would champion it. “Customers First,” was one of my favourites.
Can you imagine the turmoil and challenge of keeping BML’s business and staff operating effectively with customers during the time that Westpac was rumoured to be (and then became) BML’s new owner? The task was immense. As the dust settled George sang a new song. “One bank. One goal.” It was beautifully simple and extremely effective.
Gary had the task of keeping the sales force focussed and producing. Sales teams