HARDISON’S TIPS – AUGUST 17, 2021 – The Accountability Factor (PT.1)
Simply put, accountability is one of the most impactful ways to help a struggling organization achieve its sales and growth goals. That might sound obvious, but it’s also true that accountability is often downplayed or ignored. Part of the problem with sales accountability is that it is not quite as simple as it seems. Accountability isn’t just about meeting monthly quotas; for corporate sales growth to be sustainable, accountability must also become a philosophical foundation of the company’s sales culture. With that in mind, here is how you can help create continuing sales success by making a shared commitment to accountability:
Make Accountability Part of Your Culture
Too often, companies go through the motions of setting goals only to push them into the shadows while bringing daily sales busywork to the forefront. For accountability to become a true lever for growth, however, it can’t be paid mere “lip service”. Rather, accountability must truly matter from the top of the organization on down, with a clear commitment to setting goals and attaining them at every level. For that to happen, each level of management must be aware of how their departmental and functional goals, metrics, activity and compensation tie into the overall corporate objectives.
Establish Goals – Together
You know that goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). But for goals to be a motivator – and for accountability to matter – they must also be developed jointly by the Sales Manager and his or her sales teams. Without a united buy-in to corporate sales objectives (overall and individual), morale suffers while efforts to enforce accountability become harder to sustain (after all, it was their goal and not your goal, right?). On the other hand, with everyone on board with goals that have been developed jointly, there can be little room for excuses when these goals aren’t met.
Measure and Report Progress Regularly
That “M” in “SMART” is critical to accountability. Goals must be measurable to be meaningful. But it is equally important for these measurements to be shared, not just at the end of a sales year, but continuously. Small business owners typically don’t take advantage of tracking key performance indicators through a Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM.
If they utilized a CRM, they would enable salespeople to know where they stand relative to their in-process goals. It would also make it easier for them to more effectively manage time and relationships. Of course, it also empowers the Sales Manager to see where each salesperson stands relative to goals and quotas; and to respond by encouraging, coaching, training, rewarding or even chastising as appropriate.