One of our Partners, CEO Patrick Thean from Gazelles Systems, wrote a great little book called Execute Without Drama. I love the title. The premise is relatively simple around the power of clear goals, accountability and metrics. This clear linkage between strategy and execution not only produces better results, but reduces the drama or fire drills within organizations.
In our last blog, What If Finance Operated Like Sales, I made reference to the drama that we have seen, lived and felt when Sales organizations were challenged to create the right opportunities, deliver to expectations or be able to accurately predict their business. Tension, anxiety and conflict arise. Often, people go missing. What can you do to reduce the drama around your Sales organization?
If you are a Sales Leader, you might want to start by looking at the alignment (or lack of) between the Strategy and Goals of your company and your Sales team. Chances are you have been given targets that you are expected to exceed. Those targets would be a subset of your Goals and part of your job is ensuring you have the necessary Sales Strategy, structure, skilled resources, processes and tools to actually achieve those Goals. If you do not, then the risk is on your shoulders and there is likely to be drama. Depending on the style of the people you report to then there is likely to be conflict as well.
Sales results are certainly less predictable than other functions within the business because you have less direct control (those darn clients get to decide). The “thrill of the hunt” is part of the energy that makes sales fun and a little bit dramatic as well. The real drama comes when people get surprised, disappointed and do not have visibility to what is really happening on the revenue generation side of the house.
As a Sales Leader, the responsibility resides with you to make certain that there are the right things in place (see above) and you own the communication, both up and down, in the organization around sales process and results. In the absence, there will be drama, either imposed on you or that you may create with your people. If that is not desired, then look in the mirror and think about why the drama exists and what should be done to alleviate the problem.
Ping me if you would like a free copy of Execute Without Drama.