Author: Leanne Hoagland-Smith
48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
12% of sales people only make three contacts and stop
10% of sales people make more than three contacts
Source: National Sales Executive Association
Inconsistency when it comes to business productivity is a sales killer from all aspects of the business be it the salespersons behaviors to the customer services behaviors to sales managers behaviors to C Suite behaviors.
Even though they may be some employees designated as sales or business development (still attempting to understand exactly what that is), all employees are in sales regardless if they believe or not. Their behaviors must be consistent to achieve the goals be them:
- To increase sales
- To improve customer loyalty (repeat business)
- To decrease turnover both external and internal customers
- To maximize processes’ and systems’ efficiencies
- To create a culture of high performance
When organizations establish new strategic initiatives or goals focusing only on the sales department (think increase sales) without aligning those new directives to the rest of the organization, this is a recipe for an inconsistent disaster. To avoid the inconsistency sales killer, these tips may help:
- Embed the same proven goal setting and goal achievement process within the entire organization
- Adopt the Jay Galbraith 5 star model for organizational alignment
- Rewrite all job descriptions to reflect actual job duties
- Construct performance appraisals every 3 or 6 months
- Continue to communicate the vision, mission and values statements with all stakeholders and shareholders
- Describe the desired behaviors associated with the expectations
- Monitor the results from these business productivity tips
- Communicate good news and bad news to all internal customers (employees)
- Develop proven leadership and sales competencies such as emotional intelligence, key attributes, etc.
With everyone having a full plate (even though from my experience most people admit to wasting at least 12 minutes while they are at work), developing consistent behaviors is just common sense. Research abounds as to the results of inconsistency from total quality to lean six sigma as a sales killer. By meeting inconsistency head on using a totally aligned and integrated approach can not only increase sales and thus avoid the sales killer, but improve overall business productivity not too mention general attitudes.