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I have minimum number of appts that are expected to be set each week by my reps. Some do them and some don't. I have lengthened the leash a bit by not requiring them to be in the office (the lower tiered reps have assigned spaces but the tenured ones do not) and not having assigned blocks of calling time. I felt like I was babysitting them for most of the year and just pushed and pushed. I am trying to give them some freedom to prove to me that they can accomplish this small, but important, task. This morning, I took my entire team (8 reps, one support and one admin) to breakfast. We covered last weeks results and had about a 50% success rate with about 50% of them actually documenting the results into our SFA tool (also a requirement).

Every Monday, I have a call with my manager and my other two peers to discuss last weeks results. I am tired of being disrespected by my team by not meeting their goals for the week. I have sent out a meeting maker for an 8:45am call tomorrow morning just to reiterate the importance of this goal.

What is the most effective way to get my point across? Thanks!

juliahhavener's picture

Set the expectation. Be very clear what the requirement is (the call and the entry), how many they are required to do, and I would even suggest you publish that information if they are a team. They should know where THEY stand as well as where their peers stand.

FEEDBACK.

Positive feedback. When they enter a single call (if they normally have none). When they meet the requirement. When they make progress toward the requirement.

It's not clear if your 50% mark means that half of your team gets it done or if your team gets half of it done.

yahtzee's picture

[quote="juliahdoyle"]Set the expectation. Be very clear what the requirement is (the call and the entry), how many they are required to do, and I would even suggest you publish that information if they are a team. They should know where THEY stand as well as where their peers stand.

FEEDBACK.

Positive feedback. When they enter a single call (if they normally have none). When they meet the requirement. When they make progress toward the requirement.

It's not clear if your 50% mark means that half of your team gets it done or if your team gets half of it done.[/quote]

What I meant by 50% is that half of my team met the goal of 3 new appts set. I have laid out the stipulations and even provide a mid-week update to the team so that they can gauge their progress against each other but I tend to have a hard time getting my point across without talking to them like they are children.

jhack's picture

The great thing about the feedback model is that you don't have to sound like you're talking to children, but the point is made clearly and without ambiguity.

John

juliahhavener's picture

When they get one appointment set - give them affirming feedback on it. When they get a second appointment - same deal. When they get the third - affirming feedback in private - public praise (if that is something they will respond well to).

Each week - identify your successes. You'll find many more successes than failures before long...and [i]so will they[/i].

quentindaniels's picture

The only qualification I have here is that I worked for Northwestern Mutual in an internship for one summer. Getting people to set up appointments with you, as a college student, to talk about life insurance, and convincing them to spend money on something they "were" completely fine with living without, is not fun. But it did teach me a lot on how a well run sales training program works

The program is very effective at showing who can make the cut and who can't. Every morning we would make calls from 9:00 - 10:00 and set up appointments. Then immediately after we would report our numbers to all the interns and our College Unit Director. It became very obvious who needed help, and who was a natural.

I am sure something like this isn't a new concept to you, and might even be what you were doing before. But for neophyte reps, especially my group, I believe it is necessary. You can make it fun by giving away tickets, movie passes, or restruant gift cards. Also, you can increase accountability by charting progress openly. Also, because you report immediatley and in front of everyone, it certainly helps motivate people.

And I'm not saying institute a 20-70-10 right away. But maybe one of the problems you are having is that the older reps Still haven't figured out that this isn't for them. If they are experienced reps you shouldn't have to be checking on their # of calls every day. You should be helping them close big deals, or teaching them to better manage influencer's in the sales cycle, it could be anything, but not such a low value add function as checking on making calls.

The beginners though, you should be training them to be great sales reps. Of course, by building the fundamentals. Only when they can prove the can make 40 dials a day form the office, that they can make calls from home. If they fail setting up meetings from home, its back in the office. And if they can't do it away from the office for over a year... Then it might be time to find a more productive resource to manage i.e. a new rep

I am not a sales manager in the least, but I believe this to be valid. I would love to hear additional thoughts

QD

7-7-1-1

stewartlogan's picture

I have a couple of thoughts.

1. Maybe 3 new appointments is too few. 5 would definitely get some juices flowing, and if they hit with 3 then all is well.

2. While wanting 3 new appointments per week, maybe evaluating over a full month is the best way in YOUR goals to ensure your team is where you want it to be.

3. Be firm and coach those who aren't accomplishing what is required of them. Review the "script" with them, role play with them, etc. on a weekly basis, with the understanding that this slows down (not stops) when they get up to speed.

Just a few thoughts this morning ...

WillDuke's picture

Why is there a minimum requirement of appts? I would assume that in your sales funnel you need those appointments to get the appropriate amount of sales.

Now, if I had a salesman who was getting his/her sales without the appointments, I wouldn't stress him/her. But if another salesman wasn't making their sales quotas, and refused to do the appointments, Julia's definitely right about feedback.

"John, can I give you some feedback? When you don't set the minimum number of appointments each week you don't make your sales. What do you think you could do differently next time?"

next time:
"John, when you tell me you're going to set the minimum number of appointments and don't, it makes me think you're not that interesting in your own success."

and so on.

Sales is a tough business, I'm sure I don't need to tell you that! Traditionally you're going to churn a lot of sales people. You as the manager need a program that people can follow to achieve the most success. If you don't hold them to that program, you're not doing your job. So, do what you clearly already know is right. Don't take no for an answer. (No sounds more like a resignation to me.)

WillDuke's picture

Hmm, all that being said, is your program solid for helping them get the appointments? Are you missing a prior step? 20 calls to get 3 appointments. What to say during the calls, how to handle objections, etc. Make sure you listen to them if they have a reason they're not getting their minimum appts.

ccleveland's picture

Yahtzee, I agree with what's been said above about using Feedback to help.

Are you using the M-T Feedback model daily (5+ times/day)?

Do you have weekly one-on-one's with each member of your team?

If not, I'd strongly encourage you to. The feedback model will help you clearly communicate the [u]value[/u] when they comply (or the consequences they don't).

The one-on-one's will build relationships and trust. This can help you better understand why they don't meet the requirements set. There could be other factors you're not aware of.

If you [u]are[/u] using feedback and one-on-ones, then perhaps it's time for systemic feedback or possibly late stage coaching.

As far as the measures used, you get what you measure. As long as this task is truly tied to the goals of the organization, then the goal is fine (e.g. 3 appts/rep = sustained organizational growth). It sounds like these are attainable goals if your peers are able to make it. Have you asked them how they encourage their teams to meet these goals?

Best wishes,

CC

PierG's picture

I think having a baby helps a lot in learning how important it is to be consistent.

You cannot enforce the 'sense of urgency', you cannot give an effective feedback if you don't do it CONTINUOUSLY.

When you start setting well defined expectation, be sure to keep up.

PierG (5-4-2-6 creative)

rthibode's picture

Hi Yahtzee,

You have a meeting tomorrow morning, right? I agree with most of what's been said so far, but in case you're still looking for advice on handling the meeting:

1. I think you should tell your team the goal is real, and that you are renewing your commitment to make it happen and asking for them to do the same. Check out the email that managers can send regarding renewing the commitment to one-on-one meetings. (I think it's with the "basics" podcasts.)

2. Be specific about the goal. Is the goal to make three appointments, or to make a certain number of sales (as per Will's reply)? If the real goal is sales, then ask for their ideas for other ways to meet sales goals.

3. Be specific about the consequences of meeting or not meeting the goal. Use the feedback model to guide your thinking here. Try to think of positive and negative consequences that will appeal to each DiSC profile. Also ask your team to think of consequences if appropriate.

4. Ask about barriers to reaching the goal, first steps to overcoming those barriers, and support needed. This should be very concrete and specific.

EXAMPLE -- too abstract & vague
Barrier: It's hard to do.
Next step (too vague): Watch & learn from colleagues.
Support needed: Colleagues

EXAMPLE -- concrete & specific
Barrier: People hang up on me when I call to make appointments.
Next step: Listen in on two successful team member's calls & make notes on how their calls differ from yours.
Support needed: Get boss to observe/listen in while I attempt to implement successful strategies observed.

5. Finally, I found it interesting that your original post talked about your team "disrespecting" you by not meeting their goals. What specific behaviours have led you to conclude that your team members don't respect you?

Good luck tomorrow! Let us know how it goes.

R.

juliahhavener's picture

Will, you hit on something I meant to come back and post on, namely the existing process for setting these appointments and the support in place for making them.

Have your team members been given appropriate training and support? What kind of coaching have you done so far to help them succeed at meeting their goals? What areas have you noticed they need MORE support or coaching in to be more successful? What tools do they have to work with? Are the process or tool improvements available that would postively impact their performance?

yahtzee's picture

Thanks for all of the replies. I conducted a call yesterday morning and was firm and direct, yet not a jerk. I informed them that they each knew the goals in front of them and that this was one of the most important pieces of their job.

They all receive intense hands-on training and I conduct O3's weekly with every member of my team. Part of my initial problem was that when i moved here to take over this team I knew most everyone on it. i started out with less intensity than I should have and it is biting me now.

Again, I appreciate the replies!