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.
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.
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?
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
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