ACCOUNTABILITY: 5.9 Steps to Getting Great Results
Congratulations. You've got a plan. You know exactly what needs to be done in order to launch a successful sales program. You've put together a product lineup that resonates with arriving guests, adjusted your sales environment to promote that fabulous product lineup, and you've got a great recognition program in place. While these are all important elements of a successful sales program, your sales team's ability to perform correctly will make or break your program. Below, I have identified 5.9 steps for ensuring team accountability:
- Set Clear Performance Expectations. Be specific and provide scripts that clearly outline how each guest interaction should be conducted. Operation: Pineapple's BLOOM Growth Formula, for example, requires that Concierge Sales Agents (CSA's) demonstrate a specific flow of dialogue during every guest interaction. For example, the BLOOM standard requires that CSA's greet the guest with a warm Hello, introduce themselves, get the guest's name as well, and build rapport by finding common ground. We use example scripts such as "Hi, I'm Marty. What's your name?" in order to clearly establish the minimum requirement. You should assemble each of these behavioral expectations into a comprehensive CSA Sales Standard that holds your team accountable. You can then use the formal standard as a training tool and have each CSA sign off on their agreement to adhere to the standard.
- Conduct Daily Training Moments. Your top-performing CSAs will uncover some of your best practices. You can use this to your advantage during your morning meetings. I often call upon star performers to share their own successes with the team. This approach is a great way for the team to hear how others are growing and to try new things and to grow in their own development.
- Be There, Even When They Don't Expect It. When coached properly, your sales team will get into a rhythm that will be like a snowball rolling downhill, building momentum and growing in strength. In order to grow properly, CSAs need regular attention. I recommend spending 20 minutes per CSA daily in order to to simply observe, provide minimal direction, and to recognize forward progress.
- Make Time for One-On-One Coachings. These are the formal, documented meetings between you and your CSAs. The goal of these meetings is to establish a clear path on which the entire Sales Standard can be achieved. Within each meeting, the coach and CSA review individual performance as it relates to the behavioral standard. The best one-on-one meetings include an opportunity for the CSA to provide their own insight into why things are either working or not working. The meeting should end with both the coach and the CSA agreeing on a plan of action to proceed forward along with an established follow up date for the coach and CSA to meet again.
- Make the Tough Decisions. Every one of your CSAs must be doing the job to standard for the program to achieve its maximum potential. CSAs who are consistently not meeting the standard must be retrained, relocated, or released. Some people simply aren't the right fit for the CSA position. Even with a rigorous screening process, candidates often make it through to training and into a CSA position only to find out that this may not be the right fit. That's why steps 1, 2, 3, & 4 are so important. By going through this process, you and your team will be able to help those who are struggling to either grow and excel within the sales program or to find something else.
Prime Your Hiring Pipeline. Always have new talent waiting in the wings. Continue to post your Concierge Sales Agent position at the local University and anywhere else you can gain exposure from prospective talent. Ask your star performers for referrals. Keep interviewing and by all means--KEEP HIRING when you have good people. You should always have a balance of full-time CSAs who perform at or above standard and your part-time and seasonal folks who may be newer to the role and thus, still developing.
Accountability is key to the success of your program. As a coach, your own success is measured by your ability to set the standard, provide the tools for growth, develop their skills, give feedback, and, over time, to replace those who do not meet the standard. Accountability is the key to growth and growth is the key to your sales success.
Have a great week!
"The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same."