Accountability in sales is crucial, yet it’s often neglected. We’re all great at finding excuses. We can always find outside forces to back up our struggles. But who do excuses ultimately serve? In the end, excuses only hurt the people making them. We have to look at ourselves, and how we can take responsibility and put ourselves in the right position, and sales managers have to help their sales team get there. Mark Keating, interviewed by John Golden, explores this topic.
This expert sales interview explores accountability in sales:
- How to remove the excuses mentality
- Get busy… Doing the right things
- The sales managers job
Removing the Excuses Mentality:
The excuses mentality is an ongoing challenge that has spread across the sales world. The top sales performers take 100% responsibility, accountability, and ownership of their results. When things are going well, that’s fantastic. And when they face a challenge, they take ownership for their results. “I’ve just seen an increase in the lessening of responsibility and ownership amongst mediocre to poor salespeople,” said Keating. And, it’s not just the salespeople that fester this mentality. Sales managers often neglect their responsibilities to have important conversations with their sales team, which in turn allows the excuses mentality to continue. “If the sales manager is backing up your excuses, or allowing you to hide behind excuses, it permeates through the whole sales organization,” said Keating.
So how do you remedy the excuses mentality? The starting point to changing things and creating more accountability starts with getting busy doing the right things. At the start of every day, top performers get busy doing the right things that they need to be doing. Poor performers get busy too, but they’re doing the wrong things. Sales managers have to have a conversation with their team that helps them to reorient their priorities. Help your salespeople decide the best course of action to start fulfilling their goals. Show them that if they carry on doing what they’re doing, there is going to be consequences, and the salesperson is going to have to live with those consequences. “Sometimes one conversation is not enough,” said Keating. “We may need to go away and think about it over a weekend to continue the conversation.”
The Managers Responsibility:
People in sales don’t get out of bed and say, ‘I hope that I fail today. I hope today goes badly.’ Everyone wants success. And yet, salespeople are often have gotten beaten down. They’ve lost their belief in themselves, and lose sight of a structured plan to achieve the goals that they used to have their sights set on. Sales managers get distracted because they’re focused on the end of month numbers, or reporting, they forget to coach and mentor on the plan, as opposed to just being focused on the end result. Another thing that sales managers can do to increase accountability in sales is to help their team create some of these laid out plans, and encourage them to set these goals and get on track with selling. This structure also creates a secure accountability system, because salespeople can see step by step if they are measuring up.
About Our Host
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.
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