World class marketing and sales automation technology and blisteringly effective processes will only get your sales and marketing function so far. That's right folks, people, with all of our flawed DNA and dysfunctional, illogical behaviour still lie at the heart of most successful sales and marketing teams. Jim Collins in his wonderful book Good to Great, lists getting great people on the bus (and conversely those who aren't great, off the bus) is the first and most essential task for any firm that wants to go from good to great. If I may be a little self indulgent for a second (after all it is my blog) I like that! I find it wonderfully reassuring!
The really good news though, is that people have the power to change, they can learn, grow and adapt. They may not be great now but they can become great. This blog describes how we at g2m solutions go about helping and developing the sales and marketing teams we coach, which in conjunction with awesome planning and great tools form the essence of a high performance sales and marketing operation.
So what makes someone a great contributor to your sales or marketing organisation? It's the quality of an individual's thinking and behaviour. This contributes most to that person's work performance and their effectiveness. The quality of their decision making, their skills at building working relationships with others and a sense of personal fulfilment are the underlying qualities of an effective individual. The Human Synergistics’ Life Styles Inventory™ (LSI ) and Group Styles Inventory™ (GSI) are excellent diagnostic tools that, together with guidance from us as facilitator or coach, provide a solid platform for growth and change.
The tools identify the underlying thoughts and motivations that guide an individual's behaviour. It illuminates the ineffective traits in an individual or a team, typically characterised by a tendency towards fight or flight, known as Aggressive/Defensive or Passive/Defensive and those traits that are highly effective, called Constructive styles of behaviour.
The online 360 degree LSI questionnaire provides feedback in the form of a circumplex of 12 behavioural styles, compared to an average of Australian professionals. From this we can identify where individual or group ineffectiveness lies. But its the follow up action plan and subsequent catch up meetings where the real enduring change starts to occur. There have been many "aha moments" when people, often managers, realise the impact that their behaviour has on others.
Perhaps it's the realisation that their highly competitive nature fires up a peer who heads up another department and regularly leads to confrontation in meetings and subsequent poor business decisions. Or perhaps that his need to win and appear powerful induces such a high degree of compliance from his team that everyone is too frightened to come up with better ways to do things, "I think I'll just keep my head down and get on with my job" is their common reaction.
Another manager might be such a perfectionist that she fails regularly to complete her assignments on time or becomes so anxious about taking on projects or dealing with a difficult issue that she endlessly procrastinates and brushes important issues under carpet.So is this just "fluffy people stuff" that costs money and generates no ROI?
Consider this; Research from a global study of 1400 firms around the topic of sales and marketing alignment, produced by MathMarketing and MarketingProfs, concluded that firms whose sales and marketing teams were aligned, worked together effectively, and were working towards the same goals:
- Had 5.4 percentage points more of growth than their industry
- Closed 38% more deals
- Turned over 36% less clients
Find a piece of scrap paper and work out what would happen to your sales figures if you could achieve this sort of increase in your numbers? Fluffy people stuff? I don't think so!