Fundamental #4 – Reconciles Prior Commits, Tracks and Measures Progress, is part of our series, The Making of a Highly Effective Sales Manager.
As you know, sales is a make or miss business. But you can’t know why without understanding and tracking the storyline. And every quarter has a story as to why it unfolded the way it did…every seller has a story as to why they made or missed the number.
Building the storyline is about understanding the root cause. Not the results themselves but why the results are the way they are. The root cause for a seller making or missing their plan typically stems from three drivers: 1) activity volume; 2) average selling price; or 3) conversion rate.
Now that you understand why, you can work with your seller to create mutually agreed to commits that drive toward improved performance.
Let me double-click on an example of the power in reconciling prior commits.
In a former life, I reported to the CEO of a publicly traded company. When I walked into our recurring meeting, I was always amazed at how quickly he picked up the conversation thread from where we last left off. It’s not like he didn’t have a lot going on. His following the storyline and associated to-dos mattered to me.
Putting this into practice is a managerial skill so many miss altogether. Make no mistake: Your reps keep tally of dropped or missed commitments from you. It’s a form of respect that can make or break a manager-rep relationship, and if you read my very first fundamental of a highly effective sales manager, you’ll recognize that without a foundation of trust, your team cannot thrive.
Try this …
Go into every one-on-one having spent five minutes in advance reviewing your last conversation and any agreed upon commits. Start the meeting by reconciling what you agreed to do in the last meeting.
Effective leaders exercise the skill of following the storyline for each of their directs, by keeping track of commits and building a storyline across each conversation.
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