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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.

     

    Download this article as an eBook

    The Interview Process Only Gives You a 14% Chance of Hiring the Right Person by Chrystal Austin

    The Interview Process Only Gives You a 14% Chance of Hiring the Right Person by Chrystal Austin

    So, you hired that individual who seemed full of promise. They had an amazing CV, the looks, the perfect interview, signed contract and good to go…

    Then, a few months down the line, the settling-in period has ended and you’re still waiting for the results that a few months ago, seemed guaranteed. You are waiting for the “STAR” performance to kick in, but somehow feel like you were fooled by a sparkler.

    In the competitive employment market, with so many people competing for positions out of desperation rather than passion, we are easily deceived by the “professional interviewees”.  Here are some suggestions, based on research, to increase the chances of hiring the right person by inserting the following processes in your hiring process:

    1. The Interview process: This includes the CV which identifies Skills-Fit/Experience and followed by ”The Interview”. By utilising this process you only have 14% chance of hiring the right person.  That is a 1 in 7 chance of hitting the mark.
    2. Reference Checking: Following up on references increases your hiring hit to 26% chance
    3. Personality Testing: By adding personality testing you increase your chances to 38%.
    4. Abilities Testing: Job-Related skills and abilities tests increase your chances to 54%.
    5. Interest Testing: Assessing an individual’s interests and comparing them to the job-interests increases your odds to 66%.  Interests are an individual’s natural motivators to do the job.
    6. Job-Match: Assess candidates using a reliable Job-Match assessment (like the PXT which includes Interest Testing) to increase your chances to a staggering 75%.

    We have years of experience and multiple tools at our disposal for testing and job match. Let us help you increase your chances of hiring right.

     

    By Chrystal Austin

     

     

    (Source: Professor Mike Smith, University of Manchester, USA, August 1994, Professors John E. Hunter & Ronda R. Hunter, Validity and Utility of Alternative Predictors of Job Performance, Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 96)

    Crucial Strategies for Enhancing Organisational Talent – Part I

    Crucial Strategies for Enhancing Organisational Talent – Part I

    The state of the economy is unfortunate, with yet another of the three rating agencies downgrading South Africa to junk status and investors pulling out of the JSE and government bonds. Now more than ever companies have to optimise and enhance their organisational talent. While cost cutting may be unavoidable; it’s important not to fall into some of the common traps that will put you at a disadvantage when the economy turns around.

    The bottom line is that you need to know your human capital inventory well enough to make the best decision, and have the courage to take calculated risks to upgrade when the opportunity presents itself.

    Our researchers have identified four crucial strategies to optimise and enhance your organisational talent. These are:

    1. “Re move” your chronic under-performers
    2. Remove your dead wood
    3. Uncover your diamonds in the rough
    4. Never stop your hunt for high quality outside hires.

     

    This blog post series will elaborates on these four crucial strategies.

    1.” Re move” your chronic under-performers

    How often have you seen organisations keep staff just because they are nice people that don’t cause a lot of waves even though they aren’t very good at their job? They’ve moved around and had a lot of chances, but just don’t have what it takes to be effective. This is especially important for people in the higher pay scales.

    The first step is to identify the organisations least effective employees. Then determine if they are chronic low performers or just a bad fit for a particular job, or have a bad manager, insufficient training or lack of resources.

    However, you need to be honest with yourself. They may be nice people, but if they can’t or won’t add enough worth, then you need to make the tough decision and let them go. If you tolerate them, then your mid to top performers lose the motivation to go above and beyond average job performance; they see poorness is both endured and accepted.

    Do you have the data to support your decisions?

    These decisions are best made when supported by facts as opposed to opinion. There are many assessment tools that give you objective data to determine if an employee is a chronic under-performer or the victim of other circumstances that can be overcome. Without valid measurement tools management becomes very difficult.

     

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