Any ‘A’ Player will tell you that success is built around 3 main concepts:
- Possessing the right skills
- Having a solid plan
January is coming to an end. Chances are you have just returned from your annual Sales Kickoff (SKO). SKO’s are great to re-energize and learn about sales direction for the upcoming year. But what about that sales training you received? You probably ask yourself: “Of all of this new information, will these new skills make me money?” How will you use them to top the Leader Board?
Companies invest a lot of money and resources in sales training. During SKO, time is at a premium. Because of this, Sales Training is one of the first areas to get trimmed. You hear great ways to improve your skills, but have limited time to workshop. You want to maximize your competitive edge going into 2014. Where do you focus your energies? Don’t let your skill development fall short to “business as usual” back in the field.
Four Steps to Monetize Sales Training:
1) Focus on the top points
Chances are you have been exposed to a variety of new concepts and ideas. While they would all be great to implement at once, this isn’t possible. Having too many areas to focus on dilutes the effectiveness and ability to adopt. The key is to identify which concepts will produce the greatest lift and prioritize. Choose the top 2-3 key areas that you feel that you should focus on. Use the Training Monetization Tool to qualify how these changes will affect your results. Identify the top 3 things that you intend to do differently as a result. Also, quantify what success will look like when you achieve these results; A vacation with the family, a new car, a new boat? Make it meaningful. Put yourself in the picture.
2) Create a “Stop Doing” list
“Most of us lead busy but undisciplined lives. We have ever-expanding ‘to do’ lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing—and doing more. And it rarely works. Those who built the good-to-great companies, however, made as much use of ‘stop doing’ lists as ‘to do’ lists”
-Jim Collins, Good to Great
In Good to Great, Jim Collins shows this practice to be hugely beneficial. Time is one resource that we cannot get any more of. To add new behaviors, you must first identify what actions need to be stopped. We all have items that we need to stop doing to be more effective. These could be any variety of items:
- Not allotting enough time to complete call plans
- Not recapping meetings to ensure all goals were met
- Not listening to or understanding a customer’s true objection before responding
- Leaving administrative items until the last minute
- Addressing “easy” issues first and leaving big rocks for later
- Using down time to check Facebook
And there are a multitude more. Unfortunately, these all detract time from implementing and developing new skills. You have good intentions, but then you find work getting ahead of you. Nothing changes. Without continual improvement, how do you expect to stay ahead of the pack? Focusing on the correct items is the fastest way to monetize your efforts.
3) Create a plan and hold yourself accountable.
We’ve all heard: “If you fail to plan, you should plan to fail.” This especially holds true when trying to change behavior. With new behaviors identified and your “Stop Doing” list created, next create your plan. Use the Training Monetization Tool to record the actions that you intend to take. This tool can be loaded into your Outlook calendar just like any other appointment. Choose the days and the frequency that you want to be reminded of your focus. Help hold yourself accountable by including your manager or mentor on this invite as well. Good managers actively look for rep-solicited areas of coaching and development. Make this easy and provide yourself with an extra layer of support. Your manager is compensated on your success – let them help you win more!
Now that you have your plan in place, Execute! Review your plan on a regular basis (your weekly planning time works best.) Track your development actions as well as your ‘Stop Doing’ list. Incorporate any necessary adjustments into your plan for the week. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so continued focus is critical. Make this a regular item of discussion in your coaching calls. Let your manager help give an outside view of how you are progressing. Have regular discussion about how your focus is producing the sales results you desire.
- Download the Training Monetization Tool (Outlook enabled.) All instructions are included in the tool
- Take 10 minutes to complete the tool and formulate your action plan
- Identify what being at the top of the Leader Board will mean for you
- Execute your plan and reap the rewards!