Companies in every industry and geographical location around the globe continue to learn and relearn this basic lesson: if you want to grow sales, you have to build greater accountability in the sales force. When taking accountability for sales growth climbs, the sales results follow: 1) increased sales volume and margins, 2) improved product and service launches, 3) better coaching, feedback and follow-through, 4) greater ownership of customer end results, and 5) more energized sales teams. Here’s how one successful sales executive described his experience after building greater accountability in one of his sales teams several years ago:
Of the ten people on that team, nine of the reps were promoted to district manager within a two-year period, and our district manager began his climb from district sales manager to regional to cross-functional teams all the way to vice president of sales and marketing. Years later, several members of that original team moved into regional or national account leadership. Today, you can find these people in other companies as executive vice presidents and senior leaders.
In another case, a provider of wireless services began applying basic accountability principles throughout its sales organization in an effort to bring immediate sales growth. Sales increased 17% in the following quarter, profit margins increased 45% over the next several months, and customer satisfaction scores soared. Building greater accountability in the sales force consistently results in sales growth for many Fortune 1000 companies.
To learn more about how sales reps, sales teams and sales organizations can apply basic accountability principles to grow sales, improve leadership and achieve other key milestones and results, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies in detail.
Sign up for one of our upcoming webinars to learn how to create greater accountability in the sales force.
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Working in a Culture of Accountability creates a strong sense of what we call “organizational health and integrity.” It is the collective version of individual health and integrity where “I will do what I say I will do” becomes “We will do what we say we will do.” When people do everything in their power to do what they say they will do, rather than talk and complain, work becomes predictable and commitments become reality.
How often do you hear people in your organization ask questions and make comments such as “Why can’t people do what they say they’ll do?” “Why can’t people stay focused on what matters most?” “What makes people so political and turf-oriented in this organization?” “How do they expect us to keep up with their changing priorities?” “We talk and talk about the same old issues, but nothing ever changes.” “Nobody walks the talk around here.” In reality, such questions and comments are pretty typical in organizations today, so this is why people in organizations develop a heightened awareness of inconsistencies, contradictions, and hypocrisy. Organizations and leaders that do not address these accountability issues can expect to pay a huge price for their inattention: unmet expectations and undelivered results throughout the organization.
Only when leaders and organizations are serious about creating a Culture of Accountability can they permanently move from talking about inconsistencies, contradictions, and hypocrisy to doing something about them. How do you make that happen? You do it by “Follow Through,” “Get Real,” and “Speak Up.” Follow Through means to do what you say you will do, Get Real means to get to the truth, and Speak Up means to say what needs to be said. No team or organization can expect to develop true accountability or a Culture of Accountability without these values and their associated actions.
To learn more about how to create a Culture of Accountability in your workplace—where people Follow Through, Get Real, and Speak Up—we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review the stories of organizations that have actually done it.
Sign up for one of our upcoming webinars to learn how to create a Culture of Accountability in your organization.
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Traditional views of accountability focus too narrowly on answerability. Like the foul-tempered Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, who, at the slightest offense or misdeed, cries “Off with their heads!” some leaders have become overly obsessed with making their people “answer” for their actions, especially when actions fail to produce the desired results. The old saying “The price of failure is a pound of flesh” is based on a speech made by Shylock in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. Shylock lends money to the merchant Antonio and sets bond or collateral at a pound of Antonio’s flesh. When Antonio defaults on the loan, Shylock demands his pound of flesh, “The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, is dearly bought; ‘tis mine, and I will have it.”
Forcing people to report, explain, or justify their actions creates an orientation in organizations that accountability is something that happens to you when things go wrong, rather than something you do yourself in an effort to make sure things go right. Typically, when answerability is the focus, accountability becomes an instrument of blame and accusation. In such an environment, taking accountability looks more like a coerced confession than a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and claim ownership for achieving the desired results. A coerced confession may ameliorate the situation for a time, but it will rarely bring about a real and lasting change in effort or results. However, true accountability is so much more than a voluntary confession; it is a commitment to solve the problem, find solutions, and prevent problems from occurring in the future. Taking accountability means having a true sense of ownership and investment. It drives a personal desire to want to be answerable, to want to have your name associated with the results, and to be judged by the outcome. Yes, it is essential for people in organizations and society to feel answerable for their actions, but taking accountability means so much more than that.
People who take accountability for results internalize the need for change and embark upon the Steps To Accountability—to See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It. They become self-motivated and highly resourceful, focusing fully on what else they can personally do to achieve the desired results. They make it a habit to See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It in everything they do. And they believe that they can and will overcome whatever obstacles they encounter in their quest to achieve the results they desire.
For more information on true accountability, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies.
Sign up for one of our upcoming webinars to learn more on the importance of personal accountability.
Accountability Community; Do It; Own It; See It; See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It; Solve It; and Steps To Accountability are registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership, Inc. All other registered trademarks and trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.