Our research shows that the salespeople who consistently outperform the rest are those who release and expand their inner achievement drive. So the big question for sales training and management professionals is: How can you help every salesperson do that?

As Mike Fisher noted in a previous blog post, start by making sure they have a clear goal that’s personally motivating. But there’s another, even more powerful factor to take into account: “self-talk.”

This refers to the conversations salespeople are continually having with themselves about themselves. A salesperson may know intellectually what they need to do (“I think” statements), but their behavior is also driven by emotional “I feel” statements. In a contest between the two, their conscious willpower is no match for their powerful emotions. The “I feel” statements always win. That’s how they end up in a dynamic that goes something like this:

I know I need to call my prospect list to build up new business, but I’m going to check in again with my favorite clients.

There’s a third dimension of self-talk at play here, too: “I am” statements. Every salesperson unconsciously answers these questions:

What does it take to be successful?

Do I have what it takes to be successful?

In other words, do I believe I can do it?

A salesperson’s “I think” statements can set goals, but if their “I am” silently screams, “You’re not capable of doing that,” doubt and anxiety will creep in and eventually sabotage their ability to sell.

These “I am” statements are like the internal programming that regulates a person’s sales, income or rewards. You can’t release more achievement drive and improve performance until you break through these limiting self-beliefs.

A 5-Step Process for Expanding Sales Success Boundaries

The important thing to realize is that salespeople can break through their current levels of self-beliefs. What follows is a five-step process to get them started. As this process demonstrates, sales training and coaching that help people uncover and develop strategies for integrating new self-beliefs is a critical piece of the puzzle.

  1. Become aware of your current behaviors. Pay attention to the conscious choices you make or actions you take, or results you expect.
  2. Notice the attitudes or feelings that seem to influence those behaviors. Ask yourself, “What’s driving me to do this action or behavior? Is it driven by confidence or fear? By the need to avoid stress, or the desire to succeed?”
  3. Attempt to connect these feelings and behaviors with the unconscious beliefs that might be driving them. It’s likely that little will “pop out” to your consciousness at first. Just keep examining and looking for answers. Soon your “I am” will send answers to your “I think.”
  4. Select new beliefs that you’d like to have embedded in your “I am.” Through self-suggestion, you can begin to send those messages down inside yourself.
  5. Have the courage to go through the change, conflict and ambiguity that come as you grow and develop new beliefs. You’ll always go through these seemingly disruptive times until new beliefs have the time to establish themselves deep within you.

Each salesperson’s current level of self-belief “programming” has been developed largely by the self-suggestions they’ve programmed into it. That’s good news, because it means that they can change it the same way. It takes consistent attention and intention on the part of the salesperson, and it requires sales coaches who understand these dynamics and can support the transformation at every step.

Re- Blogged From – Integrity Solutions


When it comes to driving organizational performance, the experts agree: If you want to create and deliver the value necessary to establishing a competitive advantage, effective coaching is critical.

In their groundbreaking book The Service-Profit Chain, for example, James L. Heskett, W. Earl Sasser and Leonard A. Schlesinger described the “new economics of service,” noting that, “Successful service managers pay attention to the factors that drive profitability in this new service paradigm: investment in people, technology that supports front-line workers, revamped recruiting and training practices, and compensation linked to performance for employees at every level.”

As the Service-Profit Chain illustrates, leadership is the first link in the value chain. Employees who believe their managers are committed to understanding and supporting their individual strengths and potential will be more engaged and aligned with organizational goals and objectives. Coaching demonstrates to them that:

  • They are valued, and their work is appreciated.
  • Their work is meaningful and contributes to the success of the organization and its customers.
  • What they do ties to important organizational outcomes, and they are clear about those connections.
  • They have a say in what they do and how work gets done.

What’s more, a consistent coaching culture has a multiplier effect, raising not only the level of employee performance and engagement but also the value delivered to customers. As numerous studies have shown, the more engaged your employees are, the more satisfied your customers will be—and you’ll have the bottom-line results to show for it.

Here’s what’s puzzling, though. The research is well established. The Service-Profit Chain isn’t a new concept. So why aren’t more organizations making headway in this area?

In our experience, there are some common barriers that get in the way. For one, while leaders may talk about building a strong coaching culture, managers often struggle to be successful in their role as coaches. Without adequate preparation, training and role-modeling from the top, managers may:

  • Confuse coaching with performance management
  • Play an overly directive role, not realizing that effective coaching hinges on a two-way conversation
  • Have trouble building trust and connecting in a meaningful way with all of their employees
  • Downplay the importance of coaching or let other priorities take over
  • Come to the table with preconceived beliefs that the employee’s potential is limited (which the employee picks up on and often lives down to)

3 Strategies for Creating a Strong Coaching Culture

Establishing a coaching culture requires an organizational commitment for developing a manager’s ability to coach and, most important, changing deeply embedded behaviors to develop new coaching habits.

Here’s a road map for getting your coaching culture off the ground and making sure it delivers the business and competitive impact you’re looking for.

1- Shift mindsets at all levels. This starts at the top:

  • Communicate new coaching expectations.
  • Assess current leadership styles and their impact on improving performance.
  • Develop new, positive attitudes and beliefs about coaching.
  • Link desired coaching outcomes to the success of the business.

2- Develop coaching capabilities. Equip your managers to:

  • Use coaching to balance goal directedness with people development.
  • Focus coaching on developing attitudes, beliefs, skills and behaviors.
  • Shift an employee’s inner beliefs that inhibit their success.
  • Ignite an employee’s ability to be self-motivated through self-discovery.

3- Sustain new coaching behaviors and skills. In addition to coaching your coaches to raise the bar on performance, work with and encourage your managers to:

  • Develop personal action plans for improving coaching capabilities.
  • Increase accountability for coaching frequencies.
  • Share practices and learn from colleagues.

Finally, make it a cultural standard to reward and recognize how coaching is affecting organizational success. Let people see the value it’s delivering, both internally and externally.

What’s your game plan?

Don’t assume that just talking about the importance of coaching is enough. Make sure you have the culture, behaviors, beliefs and skills in place so that coaching can truly strengthen your competitive edge.

Re- Blogged From :- Integrity Solutions


Sales coaching is a topic that gets a lot of attention today, but that doesn’t mean companies are actively investing in developing coaches. In fact, many managers are given the responsibility as part of the job, without much in the way of preparation or support.

This is a shame, because effective coaching doesn’t just happen, and yet, the impact of great coaches can be far-reaching. By not only lifting productivity and performance but also building bonds of trust and loyalty, a strong coaching culture can quickly become a company’s key strategic differentiator. Talented employees will want to work there, and top performers will want to stay. After all, when you have a good relationship with a manager who’s invested in growing and developing you, that’s a risky thing to leave; you may not find it with the next manager.

But here’s the hard reality: Being a good sales manager doesn’t make you a good sales coach.

While the managerial role requires tactical, analytical and operational business skills, the coaching role is different; it focuses on the human side of the equation. It requires managers to be able to reach into the relationships with the people on their team, find out what their strengths and goals are, and then help align those to the job that needs to be done.

Fundamentally, a manager’s job is to get things done with and through other people, so this coaching responsibility is an essential piece of the puzzle. It’s why great leaders are often both good managers and good coaches. They’re complementary roles, not mutually exclusive ones.

Building Coaching Confidence

Again, this doesn’t happen simply by adding “sales coach” to the list of the manager’s job responsibilities. In many cases, it’s not even a question of whether the manager has specific coaching skills. Confidence and mindset have a huge influence on both a manager’s coaching effectiveness and a salesperson’s selling success. Just like the most successful salespeople have an internal drive to sell, the most effective sales coaches have an internal drive to invest in other people.

This is something that can be developed and nurtured, but the organization has to recognize it and make it a priority. If managers don’t understand and know how to address these “EQ” issues, including potential negative perceptions or limiting attitudes about coaching and selling, they will struggle in the role, regardless of their skill level.

Deepening Sales Performance

Of course, an investment in sales coaching isn’t just for the manager’s benefit. It’s ultimately about improving individual sales performance and committing to the ongoing success of top performers. But one of the questions I often hear is, isn’t training enough?

While it’s true that a single training event may be able to provide an immediate performance lift, in most cases, the improvements are going to be limited and short-term at best, particularly if the world around that individual doesn’t support new behaviors and attitudes.

The salesperson needs to come back to an environment and a culture that says, we see potential in what you’re doing and we want to help you grow. As such, the coach plays a big role in sustaining and accelerating those new behaviors. When you invest in sales training without coupling it with effective coaching and a process to support it, it’s not going to get you the same kind of results.

Sales Coaching Pays Off—Many Times Over

Why invest in sales coaching? Because it’s an investment that delivers in multiple ways, from increasing the return on your sales training investments to enhancing trust in the organization. And as trust grows, so does productivity—people want to show up and do more.

In other words, when you invest in coaching and make it a priority, you’re building a wall of protection around your greatest people. And that’s how coaching can become your best strategic defense.

By Derek Roberts

Re- Blogged From :- Integrity Solutions



There’s a common saying about selling in healthcare: When you understand one health system, you understand one health system.

With the increasing complexity involved in navigating complex Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs), there are no easy solutions to winning the business. Meanwhile, as the healthcare environment moves away from the fee-for-service model to value-based care, hospital executives’ expectations are changing. For those who are selling into the so-called C-suite, including senior executives and other top leaders, that means a shift for them as well.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that senior-level audiences have different demands and expectations than many salespeople are used to dealing with. From getting the appointment to interacting during the meeting, calling on senior executives requires a more strategic approach and a different set of skills.

We recently surveyed strategic account representatives and executives in the Medical Device and Diagnostic marketplace to learn a bit more about their experiences calling on senior leaders in today’s healthcare environment. We learned that some of their top challenges include gaining access and having a compelling, value-based reason to meet, among others.

A particularly revealing data point from the survey is the fact that only 21% of respondents felt “highly confident” in their ability to bring value to an executive-level conversation. We also discovered that 18% were “not confident” that they could bring value or have had no executive conversations in the past six months.

All of these factors affect how medical device, diagnostics, pharmaceutical and other healthcare sales organizations prepare their teams to step up into the carpeted side of the hospital.

The Power of Beliefs

While salespeople need to build new skills to address the unique expectations and demands of healthcare leaders, they also need to develop the necessary mindset to call on senior executives. In fact, when it comes to selling successfully to a senior leadership audience, a salesperson’s beliefs, values and ability to create value for customers are often more influential than their selling skills.

There are five key belief dimensions that influence executive sales success:

  • View of Selling to Executives: Your belief in creating value for health systems and executives.
  • View of Abilities: Your belief you can be successful selling to this level of customers.
  • Commitment to Activities: Your willingness to do what’s necessary—applying all the tools and resources—to be successful, every single time.
  • Belief in Solutions: Your belief that what you have to offer brings value.
  • Values: You have the integrity, honesty, work ethic, credibility, etc. to excel.

How can you help your salespeople expand their beliefs? One-on-one coaching is critical. Work with them to consider new possibilities for themselves. Ask them what they might do and say that’s completely outside their comfort zone. Acknowledge that it’s perfectly normal to be nervous. And focus on helping them develop and believe in the actions, feelings, behaviors and abilities that support a successful conversation.

A Different Customer with Different Priorities

In addition to potentially self-limiting beliefs, many salespeople struggle to succeed at the executive level because they assume the same approaches they use with other customers will work here, too.

The problem is, senior executives’ priorities and goals are different. In their decision-making process, they’re thinking about specific business drivers, like enhanced patient care, cost reduction, revenue growth and third-party partnerships. What this means is that selling to them is less about asking questions and more about helping them connect the dots. The salesperson has to bring insight that aligns with the executive’s strategic imperatives and helps them solve a problem that’s bigger than what’s in the representative’s product portfolio.

Successful salespeople do this by:

  • Understanding the priorities of senior executives and how those differ from the priorities of clinical or financial decision-makers
  • Recognizing how business drivers impact decisions.
  • Knowing how and when to get involved in the decision-making process—it has to be early.
  • Researching, doing the homework and coming in to the meeting highly prepared for that strategic discussion

This last point can’t be overstated. When working with senior leaders, there are no shortcuts and often no second chances. Thorough planning, preparation and research are non-negotiables. Eighty percent of what the salesperson would typically uncover through interviewing the customer should happen instead in preparation for the conversation.

Ultimately, selling to the C-suite in healthcare is a different game, one that’s highly dependent on the person’s beliefs, values and ability to create value at a strategic level. Not everyone is cut out for it. But with the right training, coaching and tools, your executive-level salespeople can step up to the challenge, become valuable partners to their customers, and make a significant positive impact—on the business and on people’s lives.


By Kevin King



In the financial services sector, like many other industries today, teams have become a critical foundation for sustainable growth. As Greg Winsper noted in a recent GAMA International webinar, a highly collaborative culture is a win for the firm, the advisor and the client.

From the firm’s perspective, teaming creates a variety of advantages, including faster skill development, increased productivity and increased client retention rates. For the advisor, the benefits are clear as well, from increased revenue, prospects and referral flow to having more opportunities to apply your unique skills to solve client problems. In fact, the advisors who regularly collaborate with their colleagues to meet customer needs typically stand apart from the rest. A recent LIMRA study found that the most productive advisors are those who partner with other advisors for specialized needs.

Firms are also discovering that a collaborative culture fosters the kind of environment that attracts a growing population of advisors who are looking for greater purpose in their work and deeper connections with their colleagues and leaders.

All of this translates into better service for the clients. They get more value from a team of complementary and collaborative partners who are committed to uncovering needs and finding the right resources to address them.

The question is, how do you make a team approach really work in practice?

3 Factors That Fuel High-Performing Teams

In our research and work with a variety of firms, both inside the financial services sector and in other industries, we’ve identified a few pivotal factors that drive high performance in teams. (For more in-depth discussion, tips and exercises on the critical factors for success, check out Chapter 4 Team Resources featuring Integrity Solutions in the new book, The Power of Teams, from the GAMA Foundation)

1- The Team Leader’s Coaching Skills

The best teams build on each other’s strengths, keep aligned and focused on the goal, and work together from a point of mutual respect. It all starts with a great coach.

Team members look to their leaders to provide guidance and support, to run interference when necessary, and to set the example for how the team will operate. We’ve found that there are two key traits that influence a leader’s coaching effectiveness: being goal focused and being people focused. Some are overly focused on people and don’t want to hurt team members’ feelings by challenging them. Others are goal directed to the exclusion of being sensitive to people’s feelings and often may run over advisors. Successful leaders have a blend of both and know how to be flexible to the needs of their team.

2- The Team’s Coaching Skills

Coaching isn’t just the job of the leader, though. High-performance teams develop coaching skills within their ranks to create a group of highly effective peer-to-peer coaches.

But keep in mind, this requires a strong, healthy team dynamic. You have to do the work upfront to align attitudes and behaviors around providing value for the customer and to encourage an openness to feedback and new possibilities.

3- A High-Trust Culture

We often say that EQ—Emotional Intelligence—is the secret sauce of great team coaches, whether you’re talking about the leader or a peer-to-peer coach. Particularly when the going gets tough, a team can’t thrive without healthy interactions, trust in each other and trust in their leadership. Emotional Intelligence produces traits such as stability, persistence, the ability to stay calm under pressure, and resilience in the face of challenging situations and change — conditions that describe the daily reality for most teams today.

The good news is that unlike IQ, which is essentially fixed, Emotional and Social Intelligence can be developed.

Getting into the Team Mindset

There’s no denying the power of teams in the workplace today, and particularly for your advisors who are used to working solo, this represents a significant mind shift. Make sure the coaching and culture is in place to support a successful transition.

Below is a list of questions to get your team off on the right foot so they can collaborate and coach each other to success:

  1. Where are we now as a team and where would we like to be?
  2. What does that look like? How will we determine success?
  3. What about our team goal(s) excites you? Motivates you?
  4. What about our team goal(s) de-motivates you?
  5. What progress have we made with our team goal(s)? Are there revisions/changes we need to make in any goal(s)?
  6. What incremental mini-goals have we already achieved?
  7. What new mini-goals do we need to set?
  8. How will we build belief that our goals are possible?
  9. What prior successes can we build on? What new beliefs will we need to build?
  10. What new attitudes, habits, skills, and specialized knowledge do we need to develop?
  11. What affirmations will strengthen our belief and desire?
  12. What can we do today that will take us one step closer to our goal(s)?

By Terri O’Halloran

Re- Blogged From:- Integrity Solutions














It used to be that product and service quality were considered the main contributors to competitive advantage. No longer. A highly cited Bain & Company study of hundreds of American companies with customer satisfaction ratings of 85% to 90% found absolutely no evidence that their high customer satisfaction scores correlated with revenue growth.

Today, product and service quality are the expectation, not the differentiator. All too often customers who appear to be very satisfied with a product or service are only as loyal as the next best offer made by your competition. If you want to develop a strong base of loyal customers who will stay with you and recommend your organization to others, you have to create exceptional value beyond your product or service offerings, and you have to deliver superior service.

The Role of Employee Engagement

In addition to a strategic plan that puts customers at the center of your business, the biggest factor contributing to the level of loyalty your customers have for your organization or brand is whether your employees are dedicated to creating value for them.

Fundamentally, this is a question of employee engagement. A growing body of evidence shows that a high level of employee engagement enables the sustainable profitability that comes from customer loyalty. To deliver exceptional value and service, you need employees who are committed to the work, willing to contribute their talents, and inspired to put in more than the minimum required to get by. And these things can’t be mandated by management. They can only be willingly given by enthusiastic and dedicated individuals.

In other words, the more engaged your people are, the more willing they will be to put in the level of discretionary effort that strengthens customer loyalty.

This is why it’s also critical that you build a culture where employees understand and believe in your organization’s vision, mission and values. People work best when their activities are clearly aligned with a set of principles that they can connect with and get behind.

Does your culture support the kind of engagement that will inspire people to go above and beyond? Ask yourself:

Does our organization’s purpose inspire our employees?

Does every employee understand how his or her role contributes to the overall purpose?

Can our employees describe, in their own words and in a meaningful way, how our organization creates value for our customers?

A Management Roadmap for Creating a Customer-Centric Organization

So, what concrete actions can you take to increase employee engagement and move more of your customers from the “satisfied” box to the “loyal” one? Here’s a 5-step roadmap to get you started:

1- Create a vision, mission and set of values (or guiding principles) that focus on creating value for customers—this is essential to drive the right employee behaviors.

2- Operationally define “customer-centric”: Establish metrics that define success and identify the right behaviors to reinforce.
Put your people first:

  • Help them fulfill their personal values and goals and develop their talents.
  • Involve them in creating the implementation plans needed to drive your customer-focus strategy.
  • Invest in them by providing training that’s aligned with organizational strategy.
  • Empower them with the authority and responsibility to make decisions that will produce desired results.

4- Align all human resource and management practices necessary to implement your customer-focus strategy, and communicate the necessary behaviors and competencies required for successful implementation.

5- Emphasize the importance of communication and building trust between employees and managers; be as transparent as possible about your organization’s performance and operational strategies.

When people are driven by values and an organizational purpose they believe in, given responsibility for the results of their efforts, and recognized and rewarded for what they do, they will deliver exceptional value and service to your customers. And that’s how you create long-term customer loyalty that results in superior long-term growth.


Re – Blogged From :- Integrity Solutions






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At a recent conference for training professionals in the banking industry, I had the opportunity to share some best practices and lessons learned for creating a selling culture. I also heard about some of the push-back learning and development professionals can face when they’re putting together training strategies to support that selling culture.

Here are three of the common challenges we discussed.

1- Selling is a “bad word.” This is a common reaction, not just in banking but in other industries as well, particularly when the staff views their job as service-oriented. “Sales” conjures up all the bad experiences people have had dealing with pushy salespeople and their aggressive or manipulative tactics to get you to buy their products or services.

2- We don’t want to mess up the relationship. Strong customer relationships are central to a community bank’s mission, just as they are in other professional service businesses. It’s only natural for employees to be concerned about potentially damaging the relationships they’ve carefully nurtured over many months or years, particularly if they already have a negative view of selling.

3-We don’t want to lose who we are as we grow or merge with a larger entity. Because the development of a selling culture is often part of an overall growth strategy or a merger and acquisition where two cultures are integrated, smaller or community-centered organizations may worry that their identity will be lost in the process. When a new sales culture is dictated from on high, there will be even more skepticism about what that means and the implications.

Overcoming the Barriers to Building a Selling Culture

These are all very real challenges. And here’s one more: Sales training initiatives often compound the problems.

Think about it: If someone views selling as something you do to the customers—pushing products, applying a few clever techniques and following a script to get them to buy—then sales training focused primarily in these areas is only going to reinforce that view.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do sales training. But you might need to rethink your approach. Let’s look at how you can adapt your strategy and use training to support rather than interfere with a sales culture.

1- Redefine sales: What if your team didn’t have all that negative baggage about sales. What if they viewed the role of selling as uncovering and fulfilling customer needs? Consider how their motivations and mindsets might change if sales was defined as a way to create value for the customer.

Here’s an example: Suppose a customer owns a small business, and through a series of questions, the associate learns that money is tight when it’s time to cover payroll and monthly bills. Based on that discussion, the associate makes some suggestions that lead the customer to take a small business line of credit to help ease that pressure. The customer has peace of mind, and the employee helped solve a problem. Both leave the exchange feeling good about it.

This is a much different view of selling, more aligned with how the associate probably views service. When you provide training that supports the view that sales and service go hand in hand, you’ll start to defuse those initial negative reactions people have.

2- Build confidence through logic and emotion: Most sales training focuses on the logical—things like product knowledge, processes, and selling skills and techniques. But we have to start focusing on the emotional components as well. Plenty of people know intellectually what they need to do to be successful and still fail. What people believe about what they can do is usually consistent with what they’ll achieve. (For more, check out this two-minute video on skill vs. will.)

Related to this is the fact that success leads to confidence. If we take rejection personally, it becomes “failure” in our minds and eventually we’ll give up. Your sales training needs to provide people with the tools to succeed, and it needs to change mindsets about what it means when a sale doesn’t happen. When they go into it with an attitude of, I’m looking to uncover a need, not, I have to sell this product, their confidence won’t take a huge hit if they don’t make the sale. They’ll realize that the need simply wasn’t there.

3- Discover the culture together: Finally, a selling culture can’t be built in silos. To get buy-in, you have to facilitate the discussion, not dictate the answers. We recommend bringing everyone together—mixing together groups from different branches, regions and organizations—and allowing them to discover and define what that selling culture is. Let them help design questions they feel comfortable asking.
Make this the first step in your training initiative. Because when you facilitate discussion about what the culture should be and allow people to be part of the process, they’ll already be on board when they get to the training.

Creating a selling culture is an important step in helping your team get on the same page and improve sales performance across the board. Take the time to think about whether your sales training is supporting the selling culture you want to build.

And here’s something else to keep in mind: Banks, like many industries, are always doing product training (a new credit card launch, a deluxe checking, etc.)—and sales training gets pushed back. Consider starting here first, and it might just be the multiplier of success with those products.


Re- Blogged From :- Integrity Solutions 


How do they do it?

It’s the question on everyone’s minds when they see the successes of those people who always do better in their jobs than all the rest. What factors are driving that success?

Regardless of their industry, product or service, all highly successful salespeople share a few specific core traits that allow them to consistently outperform their peers. So the bigger question that training, learning and development, and sales leaders should be asking is this:

Do our sales training and coaching initiatives take these four traits into account?

Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Strong Goal Clarity: Goal clarity is having clear, specific written descriptions of what you want to have in your future. And here’s the thing: Very few people have it.

In fact, almost without fail, it’s the dimension that participants in our sales training programs rank themselves the lowest on in their own self-assessments. Whether it’s a personal goal or a professional one, you can’t get there if you aren’t clear on:

  • Where you want to go
  • When you want to arrive
  • How you’re going to get there

What goal is possible for someone to achieve? As the saying goes, anything is possible—as long as the person has the general abilities, training, resources and desire levels of someone who’s achieved similar goals. Because selling is an “inside job,” the salesperson’s inner needs will always drive their goal possibilities, including the size of the goals they set and reach and the size that they don’t think they can reach.

High Achievement Drive: This is a topic we explored in detail in our recent research project with the Sales Management Association. Put simply, Achievement Drive is energy. It’s the energy released from within you when you have goal clarity. The amount of energy released is first determined by:

  • Level of desire for the goal
  • Belief in whether it’s possible for you to achieve it
  • How worthy you feel to enjoy the goal

These factors then influence the effort, commitment and persistence you’ll exhibit in pursuit of the goal.

Salespeople with high Achievement Drive think differently than others. They think in terms of the rewards for reaching sales goals, not just reaching them. They’re motivated to serve customers exceptionally well, earn high respect, enjoy a certain lifestyle and other benefits. They spend time daydreaming about the exciting things that can happen for them in the future.

For more on Achievement Drive and how it acts as a multiplying factor in someone’s success, check out the on-demand webinar Skill or Will: What New Data Reveal About Sales Success.

Healthy Emotional Intelligence: Two other names for Emotional Intelligence are maturity and stability. Essentially, it’s the ability to:

  • Understand your feelings and how they influence your external behaviors.
  • Take control of your emotions and do the difficult things you might not want to do but must do in order to achieve your worthwhile goals.

When salespeople face possible rejection, failure or ego damage, it’s easy to play weak emotional games: call reluctance, ducking responsibility, being unwilling to hang tough when difficult problems come up. The antidote is courage: calling when you’re afraid to, meeting with people you’re afraid to meet, asking the questions you’re afraid to ask.

Both the avoidance behaviors and the acts of courage come from a person’s internal values, which determine how they will act when faced with a difficult situation. Strong, positive values open the door to higher success.

Excellent Social Skills: This is more than the “gift of gab” or engaging in surface-level communication and small talk. It involves:

  • Valuing people
  • Listening to what people say and how they feel
  • Understanding what people say and how they feel
  • Responding appropriately to varied social situations
  • Causing others to feel understood

Even in today’s technology-dominated culture, a salesperson’s ability to relate to other people reigns supreme when it comes to successful sales performance. Plenty of people who are highly competent technically fail at their sales jobs because they can’t get along with people.

Think about your own salespeople and how well they exhibit each of these traits. Do you notice any patterns? Understanding what these four qualities are is an important step in helping salespeople build and sustain their own high achievement.

But knowing about them doesn’t necessary make someone successful, just like reading a book on flying won’t prepare you to pilot an airplane. Training is the first step on the path to growth, which is incremental and comes through application.

How will you develop and nurture these sales success factors in your team?


Re- Blogged From – Integrity Solutions

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LIsa Bullock

Companies with superior and sustained sales performance create environments where salespeople have what they need to perform, grow and be recognized. In other words, their sales managers excel at coaching their teams to success.

Unfortunately, according to CSO Insights, the percentage of managers fully capable of mentoring and coaching their teams has been trending down, and a big part of this is due to the increase in newly promoted sales managers:

  • Over 40% of front line sales managers are recently promoted salespeople.
  • Managers who are newly promoted from a sales role tend to have the lowest coaching effectiveness ratings, with over 65% of companies seeing a significant gap in their ability to coach and mentor.

This isn’t all that surprising. When sales managers are functioning as “super salespeople”—highly skilled at evaluating the team’s sales challenges but less skilled and comfortable with the role of leading and coaching—they often end up focusing their time and energy on filling the gap to help close sales opportunities, rather than on building up the confidence of their team to do it themselves.

This is a problem in and of itself, since the sales manager is now taking on a role the salesperson should be handling, but the issues also self-perpetuate and lead to even bigger problems. The salesperson’s self-confidence may take a hit—or they simply begin relying on the manager to close the deal—while the manager gets increasingly frustrated about having to step in to save the day yet again. The manager eventually assumes that this is the best that employee can achieve and stops challenging him or her to go further. The employee, in turn, recognizes those signals coming from the manager and ultimately plateaus out. It’s a dynamic that we call the Law of Limited Performance.

The problem isn’t just with newly promoted sales managers, though. Whether it’s a lack of skills, awareness or commitment to coaching, many managers are struggling to improve their sales team’s skills and behavior. To successfully break the Law of Limited Performance, sales managers must:

  1. Understand the belief boundaries inhibiting a salesperson’s success. Managers can increase a salesperson’s confidence to step outside their belief boundaries by seeing more in the salesperson than they themselves might see.
  2. Help each salesperson set and achieve goals just outside their current performance levels. Great coaching conversations ignite a salesperson’s ability to “own” their own breakthroughs.

Sales Coaching Tips for Unleashing individual Potential

Here are some tips your managers can apply to engage in coaching conversations that uncover inner belief boundaries, increase the salesperson’s ownership and confidence in developing solutions to overcome their challenges, and appropriately challenge them to break through today’s level of performance.

Stay curious about the salesperson’s perspective:

  • Ask open-ended questions about goals, challenges and beliefs.
  • Resist the urge to have all the answers.
  • Listen actively to fully understand the employee’s viewpoint.
  • Observe how employees are stepping outside their comfort zones.

Boost salesperson engagement and creativity:

  • Solicit ideas for new options to manage limitations and solve challenges.
  • Provide positive reinforcement of the value the salesperson brings.
  • Offer praise to increase the likelihood of using new skills and behaviors.
  • Encourage employees to discover and try new things.

Translate new skills and behaviors into actionable results:

  • Link them to delivering organizational value.
  • Promote commitments that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound.
  • Recognize progress frequently, and provide course corrections as needed.
  • Leverage mistakes as learning opportunities.

Take a look at how you’re developing your newly promoted sales managers as well as your more experienced ones. Are you providing them with the skills and behaviors they need to meet this critical coaching requirement? Stepping in to fill the gap for their salespeople isn’t a sustainable solution. To unleash individual potential and drive long-term sales performance improvement, your sales managers have to take the time to recognize and understand the belief boundaries of each of their salespeople.

By Lisa Bullock



“If you want to interact effectively with me, to influence me, you first need to understand me.” – Steven Covey

A powerful statement. Simple and eloquent, profound and meaningful.

Taken a step further, we might add that you also need to understand yourself. After all, you can’t really communicate effectively with someone else without first recognizing how you prefer to communicate—and how you may be perceived by that person as a result.

But once you have the foundation, the bigger leap—one that only a few truly master—is to understand and adapt to the person you’re communicating with. That’s where your biggest opportunity lies.

As most of us are keenly (and perhaps, at times, painfully) aware in our relationships outside of work, people view the world through different lenses. This, in turn, affects how they communicate and like to be communicated with. We do our best to work through the communication challenges because, as much as technology has infiltrated everything our daily lives, we still strive for those personal connections.

The same applies in the workplace. New technologies and fads come and go, but being able to understand what your customers value most and then being able to effectively communicate with them from that vantage point is often what differentiates you and your organization from your competition. It’s also what forms the basis of strong, sustainable customer relationships.

A Corporate Executive Board study found that 53% of customer loyalty is driven by the sales experience. This supports the notion that perceptions are reality. So an important question for you to think about is this: How are you perceived by those you’re communicating with? Your ability to connect with people certainly weighs on that perception.

And the next question is, are you doing everything you can to build deeper, trust-based relationships?

The Behavior Styles Connection

You probably have some familiarity with the concept of Behavior Styles. It’s literally been around forever. Even Socrates grasped the value of understanding different behavioral approaches as he helped shape Western philosophy and evolved his Socratic method. The Behavior Styles Assessment, which reveals your personal Behavior Style and helps you understand the Behavior Styles of colleagues and customers, gives you a way to create personal chemistry and build rapport with diverse people—fundamental skills in sales, management, personal relationships and everyday life.

Let’s take a closer look at how Behavior Styles can help you strengthen customer relationships and improve your sales effectiveness.

In his classic book The Loyalty Effect, Frederick F. Reichheld says that the best way to move from transactional, rational dialogue to a more meaningful exchange is to focus on creating an emotional bond. When you communicate in such a way that your clients and co-workers feel valued, the outcomes of your conversations will yield better returns.

Easier said than done? Well, with the right level of awareness and commitment, anyone can master the ability to sell, serve and coach others by understanding and adapting to different Behavior Styles. The information you learn about their Behavior Styles can help you shortcut the process of connecting with them in a more personal and meaningful way.

A rule of thumb is to follow the three A’s:

  • Awareness of your personal communication preferences and how you may be perceived by others
  • Alignment of your communication strategy to another’s, once you determine their primary Behavior Style
  • Action, including successfully adapting on the fly as you communicate with others

The Compound Effect of Loyalty

Why should you bother? Ultimately, your ability to communicate effectively with clients and prospects—to move from transactional to emotional conversations—is what can move them from neutral to satisfied to loyal. And once you reach a true “partner” status, that loyalty will compound itself. Your loyal, fully engaged clients are not only willing to spend significantly more wallet share, they’re also the ones who will go to bat for you, becoming your best sources of referrals and new business.

No matter how much technology evolves, sales is a business of relationships. Having meaningful conversations that engage people in a way that they value is always going to be one of your most powerful selling tools. And that means you have to understand their Behavior Style so that you can focus in on what they care about most.

How many of your customers are fully engaged? How might more effective, engaging communication (as defined by the customer) help you achieve both your goals and theirs?

If you’re a leader seeking that competitive advantage, ask yourself this: What am I doing to equip my team to maximize every interaction?


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