New Sales Manager Performance Coaching

Your managers are your business leverage. The shoe dropped for me with an article in HBR, "Why Good Managers Are So Rare" (Randall Beck and James Harter).

My coaching focus is on the 5 Key elements that make a great manager.
These authors say they are:
1.They motivate every single employee to take action and engage them with a compelling mission and vision.
2 .They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
3.They create a culture of clear accountability.
4. They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency.
5. They make decisions that are based on productivity, not politics.

The manager that has these 5 down is the Alpha, the leader of the pack. What's exciting for me is all of these characteristics can be learned, and fairly easily. With the right basic philosophy to underpin them it's a given for the willing manager. I've been doing it for years and the results speak for themselves.

The greatest competitive edge, the game changer for most companies, is their ability to leverage the people in their organization. Coaching managers means leveraging 10:1. Pretty good odds. A great way to stay away from the back of the pack

Bring aboard the right people. Teach them to self manage. Provide process options that make the most of their creativity and support their self-motivation.

People who are committed to your company produce year over year and they stay with you. My clients compare some of these personal performance upgrades to moving from a single shot to a Winchester rifle. The results are dramatic.

That's where I come in. Call 416-930-6165 and let's talk.

Communications/People Challenges? Use Communication Alignment

August 7, 2014 No comments »

We all want to be able to effectively communicate with people that can make a difference in our lives. Whether it’s getting connected to a buyer or understanding our soulmate. The world’s best communicators are highly successful in their lives and in their satisfaction with life.
The challenges can be as simple as “What do I say? of more complex such as “I just do not understand where he’s coming from – and I need to work with him.”
I am totally stoked to call myself a ‘Communications Alignment Coach’. After 30 years of practice I have found a fundamental model that works in every communication situation even the challenging ones. It’s called “Communication Alignment” and it has been sparked by new research in neuroplasticity. The process is simple and the tools that go with it make it easy to communicate with anybody, wherever and whatever your purpose.

The catalyst for this model is the Jaguar Effect. Jaguar Effect is based on new neuroscience research that shows the conscious and sub-conscious minds work together and in balance, though the sub-conscious quietly dominates. You might also know of these as the Head and the Heart. Once you know how to use this knowledge, all kinds of confusion and misunderstandings just vaporize.  You can very quickly learn how to use this new information to increase the effectiveness of your communications. Best of all it is very natural – it sees to have been just lying below the surfacee.

Drop me a line if you would like to know more – it’s early days and I am doing 20 minute demo sessions. I invite you to set one up because I know you will want this skill and understanding.

416-930-6165, venturesnow@gmail.com

Jerry Seinfeld’s Success Answer

January 27, 2014 No comments »

Here’s one from Jim Edwards, marketing mastermind.

What is the most important thing you could do on a daily basis. Jim went to Jerry Seinfeld for the answer and it might surprise you. Simple elegant and effective. Here it is:

http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret

Enjoy!

Cliff

Kansas State High Performance Sales Management Training

July 23, 2013 No comments »

High Performance Sales Management

Kansas State is adding High Performance Sales Management Training

Kansas State High Performance Sales Management Training is at your fingertips. Here’s a blog from Dawn Deeter, Director of the National Strategic Selling Institute at Kansas State University

“The underlying theme of the workshop: by creating self-managing employees, you can increase the productivity and overall effectiveness of your sales force….”

http://tinyurl.com/n2cevcz

The program highlights how to apply the core to  high performance Sales Management Training.

 

 

2 Success Fundamentals

July 4, 2013 No comments »

Hire Right and Coach to Success

                                            by Cliff Sutton

Sales Vice President, these 2 fundamentals make or break your success. The formula applies to more than sales only!

Do your sales managers feel like jumping up and clicking their heels when they head up their walk in the evening? Or do they feel like the briefcase weighs 50 pounds and the day was exhausting?

Do they wake up in the night trying to figure out how they can help that guy sell?

The most common cause of this type of pain and the poor performance that goes with it is a poor hire or ineffective core coaching, or a combination of both.

The cost of turnover is about 1.5 times salary ($90,000.00 for a $60,000.00 rep) not to mention lost opportunity so hiring right and coaching right are critical to success or worse still survival, in an increasingly competitive market.

One of the most effective Sales VPs I know said the most important characteristic for a sales manager is their ability to hire great salespeople. If you start with the right raw material you can do wonders.

Now coach them with a core program that supports everything they will learn and implement with your company. From the interview process through on-boarding and day to day interaction, the process and the coaching are systematic.

How to Hire Top Performing Sales Reps

So how do you really know what you are getting when you hire a new candidate who then becomes a part of your company?

Know what you are looking for. Clients have found over the years that the time they spend deciding what that is pays back big dividends. Once you know, “Accept nothing less”.

The Hiring Manager seeks this lofty goal and must also deal with the demands of finding that right person, and doing it now!

That’s where the system comes in. Having a proven system saves enormous amounts of personnel time and time to hire. The system also provides data that can be used to validate the process and predict outcomes. You learn what works well in terms of performance and retention.

Let the system do more of the sorting before getting face to face with a candidate, because that’s where the time really begins to burn up, there is a lot of information available.

Your system for hiring great sales people:

Behaviour + Gut + Science = A Great Hire

The resume provides basic background and qualifications, plus a record of skills, and gives a place to start.

Weight the Behavioural Interview, your Gut feel and the Science equally when making the hiring decision.  This avoids the ‘chemistry trap’ and general biases.

The psychometric profile (Science) provides key behavioural information and predicts success with your company.

The profile used for selection is most effective when it is ‘normative’ (based on stats from your company population) and can be validated and adapted to your needs.

Good data saves you time because you are now interviewing for confirmation of Effort and Fit to the company. Time saved means good selection, means good performance which means good retention. You want committed top performing sales people that stick with you for a long. It’s quality of life and good profit all around.

Startling Hiring Statistics that Double Your Performance

What difference does your hiring process make in employee performance? Here’s my take on it based on government stats analysis, corporate info, case studies and business experience. Remember we are talking performance, not just retention.

Resume plus interview only 50 % chance of success

Attitudinal Profiling + 15 – 25%

Validated Psychometric Profiling + 10 – 3

Simulation +10 – 20%

Talent Management System Compliance + 10 – 20%

According to these numbers we can approach the perfect hire – double the basic resume + interview approach.
What’s your experience been?

Does psychometric testing help in hiring a new salesperson?

Validated psychometric testing improves your chances of hiring a successful salesperson by 10 – 30 %. Those are big numbers – takes your hiring from 2-3 successful hires out of 5 hires to 3-4 out of 5 – and this reflects only part of the picture.
When you use predictive, validated profiling (measured against performance) as a key part of your hiring process, you increase your chances of hiring a natural salesman. You benchmarked with your salespeople.
Take it a step further. If 20% of your salespeople produce over half the sales, imagine the impact of having 40% who operate at this level!

The Core Coaching System

The Core coaching system helps the rep build habits that serve your company wants better. You can tell when it is the right system when you can answer this question:

”Does the core coaching system support my rep in during training, selling and every day account management?

When you can answer “Yes!” you have the right system.

Coaching starts at the beginning:

Sourcing

Recruiting

Selection Process

Hiring

On-boarding

Initial Training

Field Work

Ongoing Training

Performance Management

It never stops. A good core coaching system holds it all together. Call it company culture, attitude to new learning and towards customers.

Questions to ask yourself about your core coaching system.

Does your core coaching system:

Encourage your reps to take initiative- self motivate?

Reinforce making and keeping commitments?

Emphasize they are accountable for their actions and responsible for the results?

Provide tools for reps to manage by effort?

In a company where both managers and reps recognize and buy into core traits like these, there is terrific leverage in performance. Individuals and managers self manage to a common set of worthy core beliefs and everybody understands the game.

If I say I’m going to do it, I mean I’ll do it.

Being the best means building the environment that is right for your company

Take a look at any top performers or top company and the clues to their success are evident.
They make and keep commitments, are self driven, and focus on the value they bring to those they serve and those they work with. Managers coach through meaningful conversations and walk their talk. An effective core coaching system provides the structure and tools to get this all important job done.

Here are some core principles best practice organizations use as a foundation for everyday action and decisions, large and small:
• Making and keeping commitments
• Understanding and accepting accountability
• Understanding and accepting responsibility
• Knowing the difference between accountability and responsibility
• Self Motivation through committed action
• Managing by Effort

Top performers thrive on an environment where the core coaching system has a focus of personal effectiveness integrated with the power of the team. Sustained performance is a habit and not based on pep talks or coaxing.

The opportunity is there for everybody to be treated equally since these basic principles are understood and apply to all. This environment is continually supported by the core coaching program and creates an expectation that each individual will help themselves however if help is needed it is available.

As an added critical benefit, self confidence soars. True Self Confidence is based on knowing what you need to know plus knowing you can trust your colleagues and company to support you and believe in you.

Coaching evolves from ‘supervision’ to encouraging self motivation through meaningful conversations. These conversations are based on ‘asking’ and partnering rather than telling.

The result is a self management culture where a core set of values are applied to all situations and that’s where the power comes from. The expectation to achieve and succeed is a day to day reality.

So what does it mean in practice, in Return On Investment? The payback is double digit at a minimum and 5 year 200% overall increase in sales is not unusual. And a good core coaching system keeps top performers in your company – as a bonus stars are drawn to this type of dynamic, exciting environment!

Steps to Get There

Conceptually the support at Senior, Middle and Front Line management covers the operational spectrum right to the grass roots support level.

The following developments could serve to keep the momentum going:
1. Determine what the environment will look like
2. Establish Champions in each of the Management Sectors and also at the front line level – champions would be stronger if recognized formally and trained/certified
3. The Learning & Effectiveness team Certification as appropriate and ongoing co-ordination of overall efforts in support of the programs.
4. Implementation of Lunch and Learn and Monthly ”Cues” types of initiatives to keep the information fresh and the depth of learning ongoing and stronger.
5. Expansion of the concepts and actions related to core coaching system ‘throughout the organization’. The concepts become part of company day to day life.
6. Ongoing Support of these initiatives from internal specialists or learning vendors through:
• Certification Programs
• Specific Programs that serve new company initiatives
• Support programs for all levels of employee such as Administration and Materials Management
• Consultative solutions approach to keep initiatives current, flexible and relevant

Summary

Hire the right people for the position. Coach them with a core coaching system that forms a foundation for a career from the moment the candidate first meets your company. Olympic trainers know they need to start with the right potential if they are going to coach them to the podium.

You have to have both to make it to the podium in the Olympics or in business if all that blood sweat and tears is going to be worth it.

If this approach resonates with your goals, please get in touch.

Cliff Sutton is with the Self Management Group. 416-930-6165, csutton@selfmanagement.com.

The Jaguar Effect

June 27, 2013 No comments »

Our Subconscious Rules

 

Introducing “Jaguar Effect”:
A Game Changer for Your Personal Success

New research into the way our brains work shows “most of our day-to-day actions and reactions are on autopilot -ruled by the subconscious”. I call this the Jaguar Effect™. By instinctive I mean what we do, say and feel is based on well established neural patterns which make up our habits, beliefs, life experiences and our DNA.

When we are under pressure our fight, flight or freeze response will take over.

Our thinking and creative brain provides guidance, innovation and change over time however most of the day to day decisions are made by this instinctive or subconscious part of our brain.

So what does this mean when we communicate with each other and even with ourselves?

The Jaguar Effect™ is your key to:

  • help people get what they want in business and in life
  • let go of the frustration around ‘misunderstandings’
  • understand teenagers
  • communicate in a way people understand
  • bridge ‘gaps’ in relationships
  • selling your customers what they want
  • better understand our spouses and ourselves
  • build bridges over the chasm between people, companies and cultures
  • eliminate frustration around the actions of ourselves and others

All communication is based on our individually unique perspective. If we do not know and understand the other person’s perspective – and ours – then we are only guessing at what they want.

How powerful is the “Jaguar Effect”? To see just how much we see what we expect to see, or sense what we expect to sense, Google “Selective Attention” and watch the video.

When Christopher Columbus came to the Americas it is said many of the natives could not at first ‘see’ his ships, apparently since nothing like them had existed before.

If this concept is completely new to you it takes a little getting used to. It has been a game changer for me, and I’ll share expanded understandings and uses in upcoming articles. This insight can provide understanding where logic seems to be missing. Enjoy!

 

Self Managers Get it Done

April 5, 2012 No comments »

Want to get the job done? Give it to a Self Manager

We are all familiar with the star, the individual that gets it done no matter what. They are the people we set up as models, who daily practice the type of behaviour and performance others shoot for.

Among this select group there is one characteristic they share. The number one competency of top performers in any situation is their ability to self manage on all levels.

Expanding the self management capabilities of an organization brings double digit payback, and more importantly keeps top performers in a company that get’s it – as a bonus stars are drawn to this type of dynamic, exciting environment!

This is a bold statement and is based on core principles that provide a foundation for everyday action and decisions, large and small. Some of them are:
• Making and keeping commitments
• Understanding and accepting accountability
• Understanding and accepting responsibility
• Knowing the difference between accountability and responsibility
• Self Motivation through committed action
• Managing by Effort

In this environment people grow and companies grow because everybody knows the rules of the game. For example, if a commitment is made you can take it to the bank it will be done.

The opportunity is there for everybody to be treated equally since these basic principles are understood and apply to all. The self management culture creates an expectation that each individual will help themselves however if help is needed it is available.

Coaching evolves from supervision to encouraging self motivation through meaningful conversations. Conversations based on ‘asking’ rather than telling.

The result is a culture where a core set of values are applied to all situations and that’s where the power comes from. The expectation to achieve and succeed is a day to day reality.

True Self Confidence is based on knowing what you need to know plus knowing you can trust your colleagues and company to support you and believe in you.

Self Management Culture: Steps to Get There

Conceptually the support at Senior, Middle and Front Line management covers the operational spectrum right to the grass roots support level.

The following developments could serve to keep the momentum going:
1. Determine what the Self Management means (the bullets above are a great starting point)
2. Establish Champions in each of the Management Sectors and also at the front line level – champions would be stronger if recognized formally and trained/certified
3. The Learning & Effectiveness team Certification as appropriate and ongoing co-ordination of overall efforts in support of the programs.
4. Implementation of Lunch and Learn and Monthly ”Cues” types of initiatives to keep the information fresh and the depth of learning ongoing and stronger.
5. Expansion of the concepts and actions related to Self Management ‘throughout the organization’. The concepts become part of company day to day life.
6. Ongoing Support of these initiatives from internal specialists or learning vendors through:
• Certification Programs
• Specific Programs that serve new company initiatives
• Support programs for all levels of employee such as Administration and Materials Management
• Consultative solutions approach to keep initiatives current, flexible and relevant

CEOs and VPs are Brilliant Self Managers, but Can They Coach?

June 23, 2011 1 comment »

Senior Executives are self managers. They are where they are because they are self-motivated, take responsibility and keep commitments. How do you build these characteristics into a company culture? What would it be like to work with people who make commitments every day, and do what they say they are going to do?

Are You Coaching Symptoms?

Your time is prescious. Can you afford to coach symptoms? Much of coaching is case specific. This takes valuable time and a situation-specific approach. Consider the alternative of coaching to key core traits. These are the drivers that make Self Managers so successful.

The secret sauce lies in coaching for Self-Management, not time management or accountability, for example.

The Self Management Culture

All companies self manage to varying to degrees. The range can be from a command and control, completely responsive environment to decision making and progression at the individual level. The question is, which level of self management best suits a given company?

The characteristics that make up a self-managed culture include taking initiative and increased responsibility, being accountable and keeping commitments. By nature this philosophy requires a self motivated perspective for employees.

A Culture where making and keeping commitments and taking responsibility are “normal”

The result of this approach is dedicated, self-motivated employees who are a great fit to the company culture.  They work hard and smart and self manage.  This a performance culture where making and keeping commitments  and taking responsibility are ‘normal’.

The Performance Equation:

Talent  X  Habits  X  Opportunity

(Attitude & Effort)

The Performance Equation represents the core of this philosophy and provides a constant point of reference for managers and employees to use both as a diagnostic and as a guide in planning. It is at the heart of Self Management.

These fundamental pillars are the basis for the recruiting and hiring programs in self managing companies. The result is a consistent process that is in alignment with the self management culture. Hire self managers in the first place. Profiles are adjusted according to the type of self manager required for a given role – eg. more proactive in a sales role, more responsive in a service role.

There is a great opportunity to further integrate self management training into any company system at many levels. SM has proven effective at  in a number of applications however it could well be a fit in a much broader way. Here’s where the leverage comes in.

Leveraging Performance

Where the principles of self management are a fit for a company’s culture and hiring practice, the individuals you are hiring will embrace core principles trained in self management programs. These core principles provide a common language and expectation among employees - for example, if you make a commitment it is fully expected it will be kept.

Integrate Hiring Profiles and Performance Training

The integration of hiring profiles and performance training is a powerful combination. The Self Management Group is an example of a company that has embraced this  approach.

The core principles can be applied to any new skills development and are therefore effective over and over again – they become a part of your employees. This helps managers manage and coach in a consistent manner. They are more effective because there is a clear foundation for meaningful coaching conversations and an understanding of expectations.

Managers Coach More Effectively

Managers are provided with additional employee information – insights they can only get from profiles – to help them coach more effectively. One soccer coach who uses the Sports Pro told me he gained a couple of months in coaching a new team because he understood them that much better.

As I work with more companies and come from a culture perspective it is clear the approach is very powerful and can be integrated into the organization. Where it makes sense it can be ‘white labeled’ as part of the everyday environment.

Please have a look at the following URL as a point of reference from a client perspective. It includes both profile and self management training viewpoints.

https://www.selfmgmt.com/wabout/clientperspective.asp#managing

https://www.selfmgmt.com/wabout/clientperspective.asp

Please share your thoughts on this exciting approach.  Note: Harvard Business Review recently addressed Self Management:

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5507.html

I welcome your call 416-930-6165 or email csutton@selfmgmt.com

Help For Your Home Business – Online Strategies

May 4, 2011 1 comment »

Here’s help for home business strategies. They walk you right through 7 examples of real business. This is practical home business help. The ebook is FREE and valuable! I’m using the leads section for an article distribution campaign right now.

www.theworkathomechallenge.com

This site has a great free e-book, called “7 Six Figure Businesses You Can Start at Home with Little or No Money” and it is great. Their upsell package looks good however I have not test driven it.

Applicant Tracking Systems Get Executive Attention

March 10, 2011 No comments »

I was reading highlights from the Ram Charan book “What the CEO wants you to know: How your company really works” and it connected directly to the Executive Suite.
Money making in business has three basic parts: cash generation, return on assets (a combination of margin and velocity), and business growth.
When we think of the ATS in these terms it is quickly apparent that hiring effiently and in a people-oriented way is not only cost effective, it’s good for business – particularly from the Executive and shareholder perspective.
Hiring the right people for short and long term benefit to the company is the one competitive edge we have 100% control over – it’s very often worth far more than given credit.