sales and customer service training

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You hire two people with the same qualifications and skills. One succeeds; the other fails miserably.

Why?

Part one of Optimizing Performance for Strong Results, a two-part podcast interview with Integrity Solutions’ Mike Esterday, takes an in-depth look at this phenomenon and explores specific strategies you can take to unleash a stronger drive to achieve within your entire workforce.

As Mike explains, rapid change-in politics, government and businesses across every industry-along with increased competition, pricing pressures and product parity have raised the stakes on performance. At the same time, many managers are struggling with how to coach, recruit and work with the growing population of Millennials in the workforce. As a whole, this group has a stronger desire to find purpose in their work, and if they don’t find it, they’re willing to leave. And that means retention has become a pressing concern as well.

The good news is, the issues are connected: If we can light that fire within our people, they’ll not only be more likely to succeed, they’ll be more likely to stay.

Why So Many Training Strategies Miss the Mark

How many people have plateaued in your organization? How many do you believe can move off that plateau and perform at a higher level?

In the podcast, Mike shares that when he asks that second question, the answer he typically gets is about half. But what many managers don’t realize is that lack of belief in their people has a direct and negative impact. People pick up on it, and so they perform to the level that they think their managers expect of them.

“All growth, whether personal or corporate, begins with expanding mental paradigms,” Mike says.

Most people perform at the level they believe they should be performing at, he explains. In other words, our actions, behaviors and even our abilities are bounded by our comfort zones. To improve performance then, training and coaching need to focus on stretching that “area of the possible.”

But most don’t, at least not effectively. Mike explains the simple reason why:

“That soft stuff is hard! It’s a lot easier to teach people product specs, selling techniques, managing numbers and activities. It’s tougher to get at attitudes, beliefs and achievement drive.”

But those factors are the “turbo chargers” for most people’s success.

The other key? A learning process that gets people to learn and practice skills long enough that they become part of their natural behavior.

The Importance of Purpose

Purpose is also a major factor in growing performance, Mike says. Organizations that focus on purpose tend to light that internal fire more. In the podcast, he explores three components to this focus:

  • Purpose of the organization: Communicating clearly why we’re in business
  • Purpose of the job or team: Lighting the “personal why” by clarifying the purpose of the individual’s or team’s role and how it links to the organization’s purpose
  • How that purpose creates value for the customer: Understanding the impact on the customer

This last point is critical. Customers can tell what our intentions are when we interact with them. Are your employees thinking, “How can I get this transaction done?” or “How can I fulfill their needs?”

When people shift their view from believing the purpose of their job is to sell products to believing the purpose of their job is to improve lives, they’ll release more achievement drive, and that will increase the activities they need to do to succeed.

And that, Mike says, is how you create meaningful work.

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Re-blogged from Integrity Solutions.

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Mindsets are a powerful thing. They can be deeply ingraine–and difficult to change. Stanford University Mindset Psychologist Carol Dweck, one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation, famously studied the behavior of thousands of children. She found that when they believed their intelligence and abilities could grow, they had a desire to learn and, as a result, were willing to embrace the challenges necessary to keep achieving more. They didn’t give up in the face of criticism or setback.

Dweck coined the term “growth mindset” to describe the mindset of these children, as opposed to those with a “fixed mindset,” who believe their intelligence is static and, therefore, are more likely to avoid challenges and negative feedback, ultimately plateauing before they ever achieve their full potential.

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The correlations to the workplace aren’t hard to see. If you’re a manager or HR professional, consider the different employees you’ve worked with and developed over the years. Were there some who seemed eager to tackle the tough assignments and put in the effort, able to bounce back from setbacks and find the lessons in others’ success?

Contrast that with the employees who gave up easily when any obstacle got in the way, who looked for ways to avoid challenges and didn’t see the point in putting in the effort. They probably ignored useful feedback and felt threatened by others’ success.

Growth-mindset employees tend to be high performers because they believe they can keep achieving more. Even though work problems have become increasingly complex and the environment keeps changing, they’re driven by an inner motivation that says, “I can keep learning and rising to the challenge.”

Fixed-mindset employees often stall out—or worse. They believe they can’t, and so they don’t.

Coaching Growth-Mindset Beliefs Starts with the Manager’s Mindset

To build high performance across the organization, managers should encourage and promote a growth mindset among all employees. To do that, they first have to believe that the solutions to the challenges their employees face can be found within the employees themselves. Too many managers have their own fixed mindsets about what an employee’s growth potential might be, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When managers assume that their employees’ ability to learn and adapt are finite, limiting their horizons for personal and professional growth, it can cause good company cultures to deteriorate, strategy to derail, talent to be squandered and results to suffer.

A growth mindset is essential not just for employee performance but also for the manager’s performance as an effective coach.

Expanding Belief Boundaries

Great coaches understand how an employee’s belief boundaries will affect what they perceive as possible, and how these boundaries either help or hinder progress towards achieving higher levels of performance.

So, what are belief boundaries? Over time people form certain beliefs about themselves, and these beliefs influence their view of what they believe they can achieve. As a result, they:

  • Form boundaries around their own inner beliefs.
  • Make assumptions about their abilities that directly relate to their inner beliefs.
  • Use inner beliefs as a mental paradigm that controls and regulates their actions, feelings, behaviors and abilities.

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A coaching culture that supports a growth mindset hinges on expanding an employee’s belief boundaries, starting with understanding how their beliefs and values are influencing their emotions, which in turn are driving their behaviors and actions. When coaching efforts shift from providing feedback to building self-discovery, belief boundaries incrementally stretch, creating an emotional openness to learning new skills and behaviors.

Steps to Building a Growth-Mindset Coaching Culture

Here’s an action plan to get started building your growth-mindset coaching culture:

Senior Leadership Steps

  • Create new expectations and clear accountabilities for coaching, with all levels of managers responsible for improving their teams’ behaviors, attitudes and skills.
  • Communicate and model core organizational leadership values and behaviors, emphasizing that coaching is an authentic, honest desire to develop managers and their teams to their full potential. Without this, other management levels will not follow.

Middle Management Steps

  • Encourage coaching as a tool to achieve business results.
  • Reinforce that coaching is also about building a shared purpose, connecting coaching conversations with organizational values, direction and strategy.
  • Coach the coaches, using the power of questions coupled with listening to gain an accurate picture of how frontline managers are effectively leading and coaching.

Frontline Management Steps

  • Understand the drivers of human behavior—emotions, beliefs and values—using these insights to break through perceived blocks inhibiting employee success.
  • Use the power of questions to build employee self-discovery.
  • Know when to be non-directive (listening, questioning, clarifying, to promote creative thinking and idea generation) and when to be more directive (giving advice and training).
  • Respond to resistance by uncovering the true root cause of employee disengagement, and treat failure as an opportunity to learn.

When a manager sees more in their employees than they themselves see and is able to express a genuine confidence in their ability to succeed, employees will rise to meet higher expectations. Expanding belief boundaries and building a growth mindset at all levels improves problem solving and increases creativity and innovation across the organization. And as new levels of success occur, employees will continue to form new behaviors and keep improving their performance.

About the author

LIsa BullockLisa Bullock has over 20 years experience working with Global 1000 companies to link strategic business objectives to high impact learning solutions. Contact Lisa at lbullock@integritysolutions.com

Reblogged from Integrity Solutions.

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Does a good salesperson make a great team leader? Many companies will simply promote an existing member of their sales team into the position – then wonder why their sales figures aren’t increasing, their staff turnover soars and morale starts to drop.

Not everyone is able to motivate and lead others. A good manager needs excellent interpersonal skills – the ability to encourage their team to take direction, be motivated and committed.

Successful Sales Team

Managing a sales team effectively takes dedication, leadership training, experience and clear, shared vision.

If your company is looking to recruit a new sales manager, consider these tips to ensure you choose the best person with the right knowledge, skills and attitude from the outset. This person after all, will play a key role in driving sales and nurturing team motivation.

1. We often hear of sales managers who believe they should be solely responsible for sales performance. In actual fact, a great leader should be aware that excellent results are achieved through leading and developing others. It’s vital therefore that specific targets, aims and objectives are made clear to the rest of the sales force. A team without shared vision and goals is a team without motivation. Encourage them to take responsibility for their own performance and share both individual and team objectives.

2. An inconsistent approach will usually lead to uncertainty, a drop in motivation and inter-team conflict. Trust in the manager is as vital as respect if they are to lead their team effectively. This calls for consistency in both message and approach, along with honesty, openness and proactive, regular communication. Together, these will in most instances, result in a team which shares responsibility for vision and actual performance.

3. Of course, in addition to looking to the future, a sales force must also be kept aware of where they are with regards to performance, if they are to have a clear idea of what they need to do individually and as a team, to get from A to B. For this reason, it’s vital that regular meetings are held to review performance and results shared, with strategies amended where necessary.

4. Being able to adapt their communication style to suit the style of the individual team member is one of the most difficult skills for a sales manager to develop yet is without doubt, the most important. Adapting styles is how individuals are kept motivated and how they retain buy-in to that shared vision and expected level of performance. Adopting what might be perceived as an aggressive approach by a more reflective type of person or reversely, communicating in anything less than a positive, confident manner with a dominant individual, is not likely to have a constructive impact on sales performance.

5. Finally – how many times have you heard the complaint that someone feels they aren’t included in decision making? What they’re really saying is that they don’t feel valued. Don’t forget that they are the ones who receive direct feedback from customers and those within in the industry, so their contribution could prove very useful. By seeking their opinion or advice on relevant matters, you’ll also help to develop a culture of belonging, feeling valued and shared ownership for performance.

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First impressions are very important for business and your first contact with potential customers and consumers. The old adage of “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” certainly comes into play when greeting customers for the first time. As a manager or company owner you want to make sure that your staff and sales reps. are making a good first impression and then following that up with great service to your customer base. To ensure that you have sales staff who are living up to your vision statement you need to offer customer service sales training to make that happen. Your company objective must be met by trained personnel making the decisions for your business.

sales and customer service trainingFor example, if you need your employees to have specialized training in telephone skills, you can arrange for a trainer to come in and go over effective techniques on how to use the phone in business settings. If you need help with training employees in techniques on how to wait on customers in retail situations you can find help through these specialized workshops and seminars.

There is nothing like renewing the energy in a business or company with the help of some sales and customer service training for your staff. These kinds or training programs will put new life into your staff and employees. The results will quickly appear in the form of better customer service and happier employees. Down the road your bottom line will show improvement with a enhanced reputation for good customer service. The proof will ultimately show in more profits and increased customers. Happier and satisfied customers will return for repeat business which is exactly what you are looking for in your company.

Take advantage of the benefits of sales and customer service training that you can arrange. Talk to a professional provider and hear first hand what they can do for your organization in the way of customer service training. The cost of making your staff and employees more professional and better able to handle customer situation will pay dividends quickly. You will be quite happy with the results of better customer service.

About us: –We are at Integrity Solutions India dedicated sales and service teams work with clients to increase sales, improve customer loyalty, and retain talent. At the heart of our methodology in helping clients establish a competitive edge is a strong base of working with integrity, woven into all aspects of our value chain. For more information call us at 1800-102-1345 (Toll Free) or visit us at http://www.integritysolutionsindia.com

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