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Keeping Your Salespeople in the Game. By Chrystal Austin

Keeping Your Salespeople in the Game. By Chrystal Austin

Driving higher sales, more accounts, stronger customer service and better customer retention in a competitive economic environment.

A study with Sanofi-Aventis showed an increase in sales by over $2million per month.

How much does your organisation rely on the performance and success of your sales force?

Keeping your sales people in the game is going to become a greater challenge in the future and will largely be affected by their ability to connect with and understand what their customers’ needs are.

The economic market has changed drastically over the last decade, but unfortunately, most sales techniques, skills and training have failed to evolve with the market creating a threat to most companies who rely greatly on their sales people to produce required revenue for long-term sustainability

The current buyer market has evolved into a more social one, requiring sales people who are able to connect on a deeper level with customers. This will include the ability to read and understand current and potential customers’ buying styles, personalities and behaviours at a level as never experienced or needed before.

SANOFI-AVENTIS STUDY

In a study conducted by Dr. Benjamin Palmer and Sue Jennings, the power and skill of emotional intelligence was demonstrated and determined to account for over $2 million increase in monthly sales.

Sanofi-Aventis split their sales team into random control and development groups. The development group was selected to receive EQ/EI Training which lead to an increase of their overall EQ/EI by an average of 18%. The development group of 40, out-sold the control group by and average of 12% or $55,200 each totalling $R2,208,800 per month higher or better than the control group. The investment value calculated meant that for every dollar they invested in the EI training, the value earned in return was $6.

Other companies that invest in Emotional Intelligence training who outsell their competition include companies like L’Oreal, MetLife and Amex Advisors.

Emotional Intelligence is at the core of relationships that will give sales people the advantage when dealing with customers. Sales people who have higher competencies of Emotional Intelligence significantly outsell those who have lower capability.

Rozell, Pettijohn and Parker explored the relationship between EI and performance in a sample of sales people and proved that it was a highly reliable predictor of performance leading to higher sales and greater customer relationships. (E.J Rozell, C.E Pettijohn & R.S Parker. Emotional Intelligence and Dispositional Affectivity as Predictors of Performance in Sales people 2006)

With access to information, most buyers or customers have already acquired sufficient information about your products and services and aware of the solutions that you offer. They are however, expecting a unique experience that sets you apart from the competition.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE skills training is crucial in assisting sales people close the gap between just presenting a product, to being able to really connect the with customer and adapt to offer the solution that the buyer is seeking. This is where soft skills help to produce effective and hard results.

Top Ten Leadership Tips For First Time Managers

Top Ten Leadership Tips For First Time Managers

If you’ve just been promoted to a leadership position for the first time, whether you worked your way up the ladder, fell into the position or were made a manager due to company need, you’re probably pretty excited… and terrified. The transition from team contributor to team leader can seem like a daunting and difficult challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few helpful tips from Profiles International® for first time managers.

  1. Accept that you still have much to learn. You will have worked hard for your promotion and have ample expertise in your chosen field, but you may find that you lack self-confidence in your ability to lead. Be prepared to learn from others – including your new team.
  2. Communicate clearly. Always keep your team fully informed of project goals, priorities, and those all-important deadlines. Effective communication will be essential in both establishing your credibility and gaining the support of your team, so be sure to provide clear direction and always welcome questions and feedback from others.
  3. Set a good example. Demand from yourself the same level of professionalism and dedication that you expect from others. If you expect the team to be upbeat and friendly, then make sure you are! If you expect written reports to be error free, then double check your own work!
  4. Encourage feedback. Sometimes employees are unwilling to speak up about certain issues unless they are prompted. Canvass for opinions on issues such as support, training, and resources while maintaining an open door policy so that your team knows that you are willing to listen to their concerns and ideas as well as help provide solutions to any problems.
  5. Offer recognition. By publicly recognizing the efforts and achievements of your team, you not only build up their confidence, but also encourage future contributions and effort. Praise does not always have to be formal – praising employees can be part of your day-to-day communication with your team.
  6. Be decisive. A quality leader needs to make decisions and stick to them. People do not feel comfortable with someone who changes his or her mind. You only have to look at public opinion on government U-turns to see how easily confidence in a leader can be weakened or lost altogether. 
  7. Help your team see the “big picture.” Take time out to explain to your team how their assignments and projects fit into the company’s larger goals and overall objectives. This will help demonstrate that every task they complete can have an impact on the company’s reputation, success, and bottom line.
  8. Create an environment of constant learning and development – and include yourself in this process. Encourage your team to explore new methods for reaching their individual goals and those set by the company. Allow them to make – and learn from – mistakes and be sure to reward new and innovative ideas. 
  9. Provide professional guidance. A good manager and leader will also be a mentor. Make yourself available to staff members and show interest in their career development within the company. Don’t overlook the motivational power of positive reinforcement – your staff will appreciate your commitment to their progress.
  10. Be patient with yourself. Developing strong managerial skills takes time – especially as you adjust to your new position. Seek guidance from colleagues, your line manager, or your professional network when you need it. In doing so you will enhance your leadership abilities and make strides toward becoming a great manager.

     

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    Leadership: The New Scarcity by Nathan Austin

    Leadership: The New Scarcity by Nathan Austin

    When the bell rings, line up in a straight line. No talking. Follow the rules. Don’t question, just obey. Colour inside the lines. Raise your hand. Speak only when spoken to.

    The system has indoctrinated our thinking and our behaviour.

    We’ve been programmed to fit in, to follow the rules and not to question. We were taught that obedience, compliance and conformity were expected at school and work (you were probably even promoted or rewarded because of them).

    But, the world has changed.

    In fact, it continues to change faster than many of us realise or anticipate.

    In the new world of work obedience, compliance and fitting in just won’t cut it anymore.

    So, what is the alternative?

    Leadership!

    Many of us might be tempted into thinking that leadership is a title or a position. This is not the case. Leadership is less about the title, designation or rank that we hold, and it has more to do with our attitude, behaviour and our ability to add value and make a difference.

    Leadership is how we influence and connect with those around us. It is not always easy. Sometimes it’s hard and that’s why it is so scarce, but it is available to all of us.

     

    By Nathan Austin

     

    The Perfect Leader by Mark Cunningham

    The Perfect Leader by Mark Cunningham

    I have been involved in Personal and Leadership training and development for the past 26 years as a facilitator, trainer and coach. What a marvelous and dynamic journey it has been.

    Alvin Tolfer said “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those that cannot read or write, but those that cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”. Nowhere else does this apply more than to leadership and the ability to guide and influence others. Leadership in a word is “influence”, according to John Maxwell, and the more skilled a person becomes at one-on-one and one-on-many communication, the greater the capacity to lead.

    In the book “The Work of Leaders”, the authors, after much research, determined that all leaders need to be able to 1) Craft a Vision, 2) Build Alignment and 3) Champion Execution.(I recommend this book). Joel Barker, many years before, stated that to create a Vision Culture within an organisation, it had to be 1) Leadership Initiated 2) Shared and Supported 3) Positive and Inspiring 4) Detailed and Specific. Words of wisdom from both sources. What is interesting is that the number 2 in both studies were the most neglected, namely the points dealing with people and getting their buy in. To be learned and skilled in an area of focus and to have a title to go along with it does not guarantee that you will be a person of influence.

    Many descriptions and titles for the modern leader come to mind as authorities have described the attributes of leaders….the Principle Centered Leader, the Servant Leader, the Mindful Leader, the Emotionally Intelligent Leader, the Situational Leader, the Relevant Leader, the Charismatic Leader, the Level Five Leader, the Leader without a Title and so on…all great titles with excellent research and facts to enhance our understanding of what it takes to be a better leader.

    Here are a few things I have learned on my journey to recognize the Perfect Leader:

    • Leadership is not for “softies”…if you see a man on top of a mountain, he did not fall there.
    • Leadership is a process not an event. It takes time and effort, success and failure.
    • Leadership in the 21st Century is a journey that requires constant learning both theoretically and practically.
    • Leadership requires developing a burning desire to succeed and the discipline to put your beliefs into action.
    • Leadership is more than mere words of encouragement to others, but a sincere and genuine interest and understanding of what they want to achieve.
    • Leadership is not for everyone. Self Leadership is, but not ‘others’ Leadership.
    • Leadership is trusting others enough to “let go.”

    This might be a long list…so let me conclude by saying that there are no Perfect leaders, they will always have challenges however, successful Leaders have different challenges year after year, not the same ones over and over again. If you are growing and moving forward, there can be no one more successful than you. Failure is manifest when you quit and forego the opportunities that lie before you.

     By Mark Cunningham

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