To use the language of a recently published book ‘some people play to win, while others play not to lose’. That is to say people can be motivated in either of the following ways:
– By the prospect of achieving a goal or otherwise making progress
– By the desire to maintain the status quo or protect what they already have
Let’s examine each of these in respect of the Strategy Pitstop®.
For some managers the motivation is to make further progress – they know their team can perform better, that with new skills, for example, they can enjoy greater success. These managers could be described as being positive in outlook, they are focused on exploiting their team’s hidden or latent sales potential.
Everybody undertaking the Strategy Pitstop® completes a powerful diagnostic (i.e. an online sales strategy assessment). They are asked a range of revealing questions, including one of our particular favorites:
For managers who are motivated by the prospect of gain and are driven to exploit hidden sales potential the results are very encouraging.
The reality is that salespeople typically believe that less than 60% of their organization’s full sales potential is being exploited. That is a real call to action. The Strategy Pitstop® is about how that 57% (57.92% to be exact) can be progressively increased to 60%, 65%, 70% and so on. That prospect can really get teams fired up.
For another group of sales managers the motivation is equally powerful, but stems from a slightly different source. It derives from real or perceived risks to target. It is not that these managers don’t want more success, but what motivates them to action is the fear of failing to meet target. In an environment of increased uncertainty managers want protection against missing target.
Managers have good reason to be fearful of missing target – this is evident from the responses of salespeople to the Growth Pitstop strategy assessment.
The answers to questions regarding the level of confidence in meeting target, or the pipeline withstanding scrutiny (shown above and below) are a real call to action.
The approach adopted in the Growth Pitstop is aimed at getting people to enter into a new dialogue about sales performance – it is aimed at bringing things out into the open, including risks to target. That explains why managers are often taken by surprise when they see the results (such as those shown above). However, when people state their fears about missing target the conversation logically proceeds to what must be done in order to minimize that risk.
Regardless of the motivation whether it is exploiting hidden potential, or tackling risks to target, the means of achieving their objective is the same. Whether the aim is to progress or to protect there are 4 key areas to address:
Each of these 4 areas are addressed by The Strategy Pitstop®:
1. Gaps In Skills & Confidence
Team members completing the diagnostic are bench-marked against internal and external best practice in order to identify gaps in terms of confidence and skills at different stages of the sales process, as well as other key success factors in sales. Moreover, new skills or techniques are presented, together with an estimate of the potential impact they could have on the sales number.
2. Process Bottlenecks
The pitstop examines the end to end sales process from a number of different perspectives – including those of the salesperson, manager and the customer. It pin-points aspects of the sales process that if improved can impact on sales and provides the detail as to how this can be done. External best practice is used as a benchmark.
3. People ‘Pulling In Different Directions’
The pitstop is aimed at measuring and improving the alignment or cohesion among sales teams, as well as stakeholders in marketing, operations, etc. Key to this is reconciling divergent perspectives on sales performance and potential, as well as the inter-connections with other functions.
4. No Clear Strategy
A key objective of the pitstop is to ensure clarity and agreement regarding the key priorities for sales. This is key to reconciling internal politics, divergent or conflicting agenda, or confusion and uncertainty regarding what needs to be done.