hgd A Good Day Is When Results Meet or Exceed Expectations.
What If Every Day Was A Good Day?
 

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Have A Good for Day! for Sales Organizations

A daily operating rhythm where proven process improvement techniques,
project management tools and change management strategies are applied
to ensure adoption of skills training and best practices across the
organization with the goal of achieving desired levels of productivity
and tangible results.

Why Have A Good Day! Now?

quota

According to the CSO Insights 2012 Sales Performance Optimization Report, only 63% of sales reps are meeting quota. Outside of a significant dip in 2009 of more than 10 points, this disappointing level of performance has remained startlingly flat since 2007. Accompanying the sobering trend, in 2012, just 48.3% of forecasted opportunities were won.

Despite the best efforts of those of us who develop training content, facilitate and deliver sales training sessions, the chronically poor levels of sales performance continues year after year. The performance data indicates the ROI on the billions of dollars in annual world-wide spend for sales training is in fact - status quo. Unfortunately, with the continued application of current processes and methodologies, there is no indication this stagnant trend in sales performance will change any time soon. Based on the data we must ask ourselves:

Does Sales Training Work?

In using the term “work”, we are asking does sales training result in improved performance when the learned methodologies are applied by sales pro­fessionals in their selling efforts. The meth­odologies themselves are not in question here. Why? The facts simply do not support a conclusion that standardized and accepted sales methodologies in of themselves are ineffective.

There are two specific proofs we can cite in defense of this point; SPIN Selling and The Challenger Sale. Both of these sales methodologies were actually derived by identifying the best practices of selling success through extensive analysis of tens of thousands of real sales engagements. In fact, the majority of the sales methodologies in use today find their origin in corporate selling environments. Add a proven process model as a foundation and you have a sales methodology. For example, within just about every value focused selling model we see in use today what you find at the core is an enhanced SWOT plan. SWOT analysis was first introduced in the 1960’s by Albert Humphrey with the Stanford Research Institute.

If my colleagues and I put our competitive biases aside for just a moment, I think all would agree on the following point.

SPIN, Strategic Selling, Value Focused Selling, Solution Selling, The Sandler Methodology,
The Challenger Sale, etc., are all worth their weight in gold!

However, before we exert too much effort patting ourselves on the back about how valid our sales models are we must also agree to accept another fact.

According to CSO Insights, all of these “worth their weight in gold” methodologies have produced a net negative impact on sales productivity over the past six years.

Sales Reps Meeting Quota - 2007: 65%, 2012: 63%.

The billion dollar question: Why?

The Parable of the Talents

In the parable of the talents, before leaving on a journey, a master gives 5 talents to a first servant, 2 talents to a second servant and 1 talent to a third. Upon his return he calls the servants to give an accounting of their use of the money entrusted to them. The first 2 servants have invested the money and doubled the value. “Well done good and faithful servants!” is the response from the master.

On the other hand, rather than investing, the third servant decided to bury the money in the ground and made no use of it at all. As we all know, things did not go as well for this third servant. Even what he had was taken away from him and in the end he was left with nothing. Although the amount of money may have differed between servants, the money itself was the same. The difference is the first two individuals chose to do something with the money and the third chose to do nothing. The money itself was not the problem. The problem was how the money was used.

The parallel to our discussion is training is a currency. Similar to the talents, we provide a currency to participants in sales training sessions. You’ll notice the master in the parable of the talents went on a journey and essentially left each servant to their own devices. Only later was there an accounting of their activities. Isn’t this exactly what we do in most sales training deliveries? We provide training which has great potential value. Then, we leave the participants to their own devices. Later on, perhaps at the end
of a quarter, mid-year or year’s end, there’s an accounting. Uh-oh! While sales productivity for some may have increased for those who wisely invested the talents they received, according to CSO Insights, the organization on the whole has done no better in improving their sales performance. Why? Is it the sales training? Does sales training work? Or, perhaps, it’s not the sales training at all. Perhaps it is something else.

Perhaps the Smoking Gun is…Change Adoption!

According to Goldratt Research Labs (Eli Goldratt, author of The Goal, 1984, and TOC management philosophy, Theory of Constraints), the failure rate of change initiatives has remained fixed at 70% for over 30 years.

failure

Validating this data is the title of a workshop session delivered on April 17, 2013 at the Association of Change Management Pro­fessionals Global Con­ference in Los Angeles, CA. ELIMINATING THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET -- WE MUST IMPACT THE “70% FAILURE RATE”.

Further consensus: “The Irrational Side of Trans­formation” (McKinsey Quarterly, 2009) - When changes such as new technologies, new processes, new groups (e.g., consultants) are introduced to the work environment; workers have counter-intuitive ways of interpreting these changes and may act differently than expected. Meaning, simply because we train everyone with the same methodology does not mean everyone will change their habits and adopt the new learning with the same level of execution.

The Bad News: Change Adoption is Indeed the Problem

change

The worse news is nothing we have done as an industry over the last decade is fixing the problem. We have apparently been stuck somewhere to the left of Committing on the Change Adoption Curve.

There is however some good news. Change Adoption is a process! As a process it is subject to and receptive to proven process improvement methodologies. How­ever, our industry has simply not applied these methodologies to the problem – until now.

The Change Adoption Process

One standard model for change imple­mentation, the Prosci ADKAR® Model, was introduced in 1999, and defines change as a 5-step process.

adoption

Step 1: Awareness of the current state and established need for change – Sales Performance is chronically frozen at an unacceptable rate.

Step 2: Creating a Desire for change based on the impact of change for the organization and the individual – The company is missing revenue goals, losing market share. Therefore, the company  and individuals are at risk.

Step 3: Knowledge. This is where sales training takes place – Here is a process and method­ology that will help you become more effective in your selling efforts.

Step 4: Ability. Part 1 of the Change Adoption process. The required skills and abilities taught in Step 3 are executed in the field.

Step 5: Reinforcement. Part 2 of Change Adoption. Imple­mentation of an accountability system to sustain the change.

Who Owns the Process Steps?

Steps 1 and 2, Awareness of the need and Desire for change is owned by the customer. Based on their needs, we design the content and deliver the Knowledge, Step 3, in the Training session. Steps 4 and 5, Ability to execute the skills in the field and Reinforcement by way of accountability, managing and coaching, is the domain of the customer.

Conclusion: Awareness as a driver for change within the organization, and the Desire to change based on the impact of inactivity are real and valid; the SPI of SPIN. The Needs/Payoff that drives the Knowledge required to facilitate the initiative for change is also real and valid. Once the training is delivered, talents handed out to the participants, what do we do? We tell them, “We’ve given you the knowledge. Now, go out and make the best of it. We’ll check in with you later.”

We leave them to their own devices to manage the job of Change Adoption. This is where the chasm is created. Unlike our parable of the talents where 2 out of 3 servants leveraged their talents into gain, in our case the best we can hope for in a system that is left to its own devices is 63% of reps making quota and 48% of forecasted opportunities lost.

But Wait…We Trained The Managers Too!

How has that worked out? Who ensures the managers exhibit the requisite Ability and are armed with the Reinforcement accountability system and tools they need to perform at expected performance levels? The truth is, it’s the same ADKAR Model and same chasm for individual contributors and managers alike.

chasm

How Do We Cross the Chasm from Knowledge to Competence?

Six Sigma is a problem solving methodology. The Six Sigma model is as follows.

Define:      Identify the opportunity
Measure:   Performance of all metrics
Analyze:     Identify the primary causes
Improve:    Design and implement improvements
Control:     Implement processes and tools for sustained performance

When we look at sales performance levels over the past six years, 63% of reps making quota and 48% of forecasted opportunities closed, the opportunity in front of us is significant. Imagine a pickup of just 10% in productivity in these two areas. That would yield an unprecedented increase in performance.

In terms of measuring all of the metrics, this is where we have the first gap in the current approach. We know companies have a need for change; that’s why they attempt to improve the problem with more training. The problem is they are not accounting for and therefore fail to measure, all of the metrics contributing to poor performance. Using the ADKAR Model, here is the equation currently in use.

(A + D + K + A + R) = Performance

As a result, the wrong things are being fixed. And, the fixes being implemented continue to fall short of improving performance and delivering the tangible value expected. Here is the completed equation.

(A + D + K + A + R) X (Adoption + Competence) = Performance

The Theory of Constraints developed by Dr. Goldratt points us to the solution.

“All complex systems are governed by inherent simplicity.

All conflicts (inconsistencies) with systems can be resolved...
if we can find the erroneous assumption(s)”.

“The strength of any chain is governed by the strength of its weakest link”.

In order to strengthen the chain, and improve the performance of the system as a whole, we need to find and strengthen its weakest link. The data and the analysis tell us that Change Adoption is indeed the weakest link. Have A Good Day! is a methodology for strengthening the weakest link in the process of improving sales performance.

 


"Doing your best is not good enough. You have to know what to do. Then do your best." - W. E. Deming

©2013 Turning Point Selling