They say that an elephant never forgets. Well, if that is indeed the case, it’s Elephants 1 – Humans 0 when it comes to the Memory Game. In the late 1800's Hermann Ebbinghaus discovered a concept he called the "Forgetting Curve". Ebbinghaus was interested in studying how long individuals remembered information and his findings are fascinating. He found that within 20 minutes of being presented with new information, individuals had forgotten over 50% of that information. Within 24 hours, individuals would typically forget 2/3 of the information, and a month later, these same individuals had forgotten 80% of the information presented just 30 days prior.
The starting point of all personal improvement and development is self- awareness. The more in tune we are with what we are great at and what is still developing, the more we can ensure we are focusing on where we as leaders need to get better. If as stated in last week’s blog, one of our primary roles as field leaders is to be a "private tutor” of selling expertise, then we have to acknowledge that we cannot coach what we do not know. With regards to coaching selling, Delta Point has developed an important concept that we call, "Coaching IQ”.
Next week in Dallas, Delta Point will hold our second, public, leadership seminar on how to more effectively coaching selling success in the field. We have named this strategically important leadership seminar, “Coaching Catalyst”, because we believe that great coaches need to be a true catalyst for their sales specialists’ selling success. The challenge becomes when we have insufficient expertise to be that catalyst.
This week I received a link on my LinkedIn profile that asked the question, “Who is the best manager you have ever worked for?” That was a difficult question for me to answer because the first three leaders I worked for during a 14-year span were the most incredible leaders one could imagine. Without their guidance, encouragement, and belief in me as an individual and a future leader, I would never have had the career I have enjoyed. As I was thinking about this question, I finally decided that each of them had a gigantic impact on me and it was impossible for me to distinguish who had the "most" impact.
Late last year Delta Point had the opportunity to work with a client who was launching a new specialty sales force. Realizing they were bringing together tenured sales representatives from numerous different companies they asked Delta Point to help build a customer engagement model that not only reflected the significant experience of their new sales force but that also set a standard of excellence by which the organization would interact with customers – and we did - successfully. In fact, accolades were very high from both sales leadership as well as the specialty representatives themselves.
Bom Dia! It’s that time again… We experience it every 4 years, where the world unites for a common purpose, for lively competition during the Summer Olympics. Watching the Opening Ceremonies this past Friday, it struck me that I was finally watching live television that reflected the true human spirit that lies within the vast majority of the world. Absent was the political posturing and the stories of tragedy impacting our world. What remained on my screen was simply the best athletes in the world coming together to compete and to share.
What can we as leaders do to improve our sales results? How do we get our salespeople to deliver the right message on every call? Where should we focus our limited resources (time, funding, training, etc.)? When contemplating issues such as these—how to improve market share and grow sales—many leaders focus on the salespeople. That’s logical because salespeople are critical to generating sales. But more often the other crucial group involved in selling is overlooked—the sales managers whose charge is to drive sales and develop the competencies of their sales people.
The best sales managers I know have adopted a coaching mindset—and engage their employees not as managers but as coaches. I was thinking about this coaching mindset as I read Dan Rockwell’s blog about leadership using the term “go-giver” leaders (Practices of Go-Giver Leaders). He made the point that a go-giver leader starts each personal interaction by first thinking, “How might I give?” rather than thinking “How can I take?” In my opinion, this is a great mindset for all leaders and managers to develop.