Today is the first day of my renewed focus on High Payoff Activities (HPOA) - those activities in sales and sales management, that when done well and done consistently, drive sales results to our company.
There are just 5 steps to making this process of “focus” work and work well.
- Recognize that the problem exists.
- Identify the HPOA (High Payoff Activities) and the LPOA (Low Payoff Activities).
- Decide you will do the first and stop doing the second.
- Implement time blocking.
- Become a slave to the schedule (See, Paul, you’re not the only one with the problem.)
I was practicing my tennis yesterday. Specifically, I was working on my follow through for my forehand, my two handed backhand and my serve. My serve has been giving me pains in my elbow (recovering from triceps surgery last year) and pains in my a** (I keep double faulting).
I finished my practice with serving. I had planned on hitting 100 serves. My primary focus was to keep my toss hand (right hand for me as I am left handed) up in the air. I have a tendency to drop it too soon thus hitting the ball into the net. When you hit the net, you have no chance of getting points. If you miss, miss long.
After several serves and several over exaggerations of keeping my toss hand up in the air, I noticed that I had not hit the net (served short). I started to keep track. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. I hit 8 serves over the net. On #9, I dropped my hand too soon and hit the net. Damn! #10, hand up, ball over the net. I will note that not all of the balls that went over the net fell into the service area, but I did calculate that 2 of every three balls over the net were VERY good serves.
I kept serving and kept counting. The numbers held true. Every time I kept my toss hand up, the ball went over the net. I did this about 8 out of 10 times. Don’t ask me why I messed up twice, I just did. And about 66% of the 8 balls over the net were solid good serves – 5.28 serves out of 10. I realized that, if I kept this up, I would still get beat. Hmmm.
What to do? Keep the toss hand up 100% of the time, convert that number 66% of the time and now we have a chance to win 26% more points. That is huge!
Now, what is it that you can be doing with your sales team that is a HPOA? You know, the one thing that every time you do this activity, something good happens, sales get made, people close deals, company makes money? What do you have to do to make sure that you do this one thing better and more consistently?
Bill Eckstrom, President/CEO of EcSell Sales Institute tells me that when sales managers “coach,” then sales happen. He knows this because he’s done the research. His research shows two very important things: 1) Sale reps feel that the most important thing a sales manager can do is help them achieve their goals. 2) Sales reps feel that the most important skill that a sales manager needs to have in order for them to reach their goals is coaching!
What we have found out through our years of examining the skill sets of numerous sales managers is that less than 5% of sales manager have 65% of the skills required to be an effective coach.
What does your research tell you about what you do that drives sales? Don’t have any data? Shame on you; that is a problem that should not exist in today’s world of technology.
With data, you have business intelligence. With business intelligence, you can duplicate what works and stop doing what doesn’t!
Ecsell Institute – Article on Top 10 Coaching Behaviors
Hubspot Article – A Failed Sales Manage Could Cost Your Company $4 Million
Email Tony Cole to discuss time blocking: email@example.com
Sales Tracker – Sales Activity Tracking application
Distance Learning – Free Coaching Session Signup
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