Organizations all over the world in every industry have improved sales by building greater accountability in their sales people. Specific results have included: (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 applying accountability principles to improve sales performance:
We consistently applied [basic accountability principles] for several years to all of our projects and territories. 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. 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.
Successful wide-scale implementation of basic accountability principles has consistently resulted in improved sales performance in numerous Fortune 1000 companies. In another case, a provider of wireless services applied basic accountability principles throughout its sales organization, the results were immediate—sales increased 17% in the following quarter, profit margins increased 45% over the next several months, and customer service scores soared.
To learn more about how sales reps, teams, and 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 where you can review actual client case studies in detail.
Acountability Community is a registered trademark of Partners In Leadership, Inc.
Simply acknowledging reality and owning circumstances will accomplish little if you fail to solve problems and remove obstacles on your road to achieving the results you want. Once you See It and Own It, you must Solve It by constantly asking “What else can I do to achieve the desired results?” Only then can you consistently Do It!
You can translate your acknowledgment of reality and your ownership of circumstances into real problem solving action by implementing a simple set of key Solve It skills:
- Stay Engaged. Don’t focus on what can’t be done, continue looking for and thinking about creative alternatives.
- Persist. You can never ever stop asking the Solve It question “What else can I do?”
- Think Differently. Remember, the same thinking that got you into a problem won’t get you out of it.
- Create New Linkages. New approaches usually involve forging new relationships.
- Take the Initiative. Who do you want to be? Someone who makes things happen? someone who watches things happen? someone who wonders what happened? someone who never knew anything happened?
- Stay Conscious. Challenge current assumptions and beliefs to break through to new levels of thinking that will probably take you out of your comfort zone.
Here’s one company’s experience with Solve It. A large financial services company was struggling to improve the performance of its call centers. Turnover was high, “handle time” was long, and software solutions were inadequate. Targets for improvement were established and everyone began asking “What else can I do?” However, when it came to bringing about real change, the going got tougher as numerous unexpected issues and problems arose. Undaunted, everyone in the organization continued asking “What else can I do?” to find new ways to improve performance. Ideas poured in from everywhere as everyone from senior management to telephone operators took accountability for reducing the time needed to handle a call.
Within a few months, they changed the way they hired people, they implemented new software solutions, they began measuring and reporting performance on a daily basis, they implemented a balanced scorecard, and they focused their training and development on high priority skills. Their Solve It mentality flourished, leading to a new set of Solve It skills. The result was a whopping $143 million per year increase in net operating income, a large portion of which was attributable to improvements in the call centers.
To learn more about developing crucial Solve It skills, we invite you to join the Accountability Community where you can review the case studies of clients that See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It.
See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It, and Accountability Community are all registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership, Inc.
Whenever failure to deliver on a key expectation is not an option, NEDs become invaluable. No Excuses Deadlines (NEDs) are deadlines that must be met along the path to fulfilling a key expectation. To utilize NEDs effectively, everyone along your Expectations Chain must accept the key expectation, believe in it, and share responsibility for making it happen. Once there is clarity and commitment around the key expectation, you can employ NEDs to make sure milestones and deadlines are met along the way.
Think about a time in your life when you were part of a team or Expectations Chain that effectively applied NEDs to successfully deliver on a key expectation. Deconstruct the experience in your mind. Was the key expectation or desired outcome clearly understood by everyone involved? Did everyone demonstrate accountability and ownership for making it happen? What did you do when an individual or group along the Expectations Chains began to falter or seemed to be in jeopardy of not delivering their needed contribution? Were the NEDs clearly established, constantly discussed, regularly monitored, and consistently met? How did you feel when the expectation was successfully met? Contrast that feeling with a time when you didn’t deliver on a key expectation.
Keep this in mind: real change and true success begin with a statement of what you (individually or as a team/organization) want to have happen. Stating your expectation this way, making it as accurate as possible, helps you to clarify the outcome you need to achieve. When you add NEDs to your key expectations, it means no excuses will be accepted for failure to delivery on specified milestones and deadlines.
To learn more about how to effectively establish and fulfill key expectations through our Accountability Sequence process, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies.