In this two-part blog we use research literature and independent best practice guides to summarise the range of factors that constitute a successful 360 programme.
When a technical expert (e.g. lawyer, management consultant, human capital consultant, accountant, IT consultant) is promoted into a leadership role, it is likely they will also inherit a portfolio of client accounts they need to grow and be given targets to find new clients. This is often the first time they have been assigned targets and been in a sales role.
This reluctant football supporter has become just a little fascinated by the leadership phenomenon that is Jürgen Klopp. Surrounded by Liverpool FC supporters at home, I’ve begun to embrace the emotions of the club’s unbelievable fans and their seemingly impossible journey to the Champions League final. Klopp’s post-match interview after LFC’s amazing comeback in the second leg semi-final against Barcelona really brought to life some of the leadership theory that informs my work practice. Here are some musings:
As a leader of a sales team you want to maximise the performance of your team to deliver your sales target. In a world where salespeople may only spend one-third of their time on selling, it’s no wonder that nearly 60% expect to fall short of their quotas*. So, what can you do to help your salespeople to identify what they need to do differently?
A well run 360 feedback survey can produce many benefits for both companies and more importantly, individuals. Not only does a robust 360 feedback process identify an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, but it also helps to develop their self-awareness.
But what about from a sales lens? How can the use of 360 feedback truly help improve the performance of your sales team?
Research shows that the ability to accurately diagnose what the other party is ‘thinking’ in a negotiation can lead to better outcomes for both sides. Having done so, the successful salesperson adapts their own behaviour to suit the environment that they find themselves in. In a complex sale there are likely to be more people involved on both sides of the negotiation each with unique needs and drivers.
Research shows that a salesperson must be ‘market-sensing’ in order to identify key opportunities and threats and to use that knowledge to position themselves as a ‘trusted advisor’ by helping the other party to see situations from different perspectives. By preempting objections they are able to develop advocates on the client side who will help them to take control of the negotiation and enable them to establish clear next steps in order to create momentum.
There is no doubt that Theresa May has a very difficult job on her hands when the country appears so divided. A lot has been written about her leadership style and whether she is sufficiently flexible to broker a deal that is acceptable to all sides. But what if the issue is not her ability to lead but is more to do with her ability to sell? In fact, the whole Brexit process certainly fits our definition of a ‘strategic’ sale i.e. it is a complex negotiation that takes place over an extended timeframe and involves multiple stakeholders.
According to a recent YouGov survey, 51% of people in the UK believe that Britons’ ability to sense, understand and share the feelings of others has declined over the last 12 months. This is particularly interesting as it comes at a time when appreciation of the importance of soft skills in leadership is rising among businesses.
In short it is about motivation, not ability. I’m going to make this really personal. My first ‘real’ job was a sales role. I was attracted to a career in sales at the time because my house mate who had graduated a year before me had embarked upon his own sales career and was enjoying all the trappings of success; a flash company car, full Sky Sports package and no concerns when it came to paying for our regular Sunday evening Domino’s pizza.