Sales Culture: Creating a High Performance - Mike Smalls


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  • How many of you would say that you have figured out the secret of motivating your sales team, that you get the optimal performance from each person? I believe that the way we’ve all been going about this is all wrong and we now have the science to prove it. I’ve talked about the fact that I believe Salespeople are like athletes in many ways and the desire to compete, win, and be recognized are attribututes they share. We’re going to look specifically at competition and the role it plays and then explore some things you can do to create a healthy competitive environment that will optimize your results.
  • In fact, its proven that Engaged Salespeople do a better job and their turnover is lower. They also create more customer loyalty.
  • According to Gallup Management Journal, only 29% of all employees are engaged at their jobs and Sales and Service represent the largest group of disengaged employees.
  • So how do you get Salespeople engaged if motivation is mostly intrinsic- comes from the inside.
  • But first, I want to take you back to the 2008 Olympics and the mens 4x100m freestyle relay. If you’ll recall a lot of attention was being paid to Michael Phielps and his opportunity to get 8 gold medals and break the record. However, I want you to focus on a lesser know athlete named Jason Lezak. Jason was the oldest athlete on the team and was the anchor going up against the then current world record holder Alain Bernard of France. Listen carefully to what the announcers said about the chances given the team.
  • This scene was highlighted and many of the examples we are going to talk about come from a new fascinating book called Top Dog, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. In the book, the authors point out that many elements went into Jason’s amazing performance and teach us things we can apply to creating an environment where salespeople can perform their best.
  • It has been said that there are 2 ways to motivate Salespeople: Compensation & competition. We are not going to talk about comp plan design and the merits of one commission plan over another. You should talk to our customer Xactly for information on their fantastic compensation management system. Competition has been proven to improve performance. It is the foundation of our free market system. It makes companies produce better products and deliver better service because they have to get and keep their customers. And competition makes salespeople perform better.
  • In the book, Top Dog, the authors point out that competition is sometimes viewed as a negative trait, that it is the opposite of cooperation. This is not true as they point out that collaboration and competition come from the same hormones. In fact, it is impossible to compete without cooperating. In sports, athletes compete, but cooperate by playing by the same set of rules within boundries. The same is true in business where every company must follow the laws.
  • Most people are impacted positively by competition, but not everyone. In fact in every study done on competition about 25% of the people are not impacted at all and 25% are impacted negatively. They perform worse in competitive situations.
  • People are wired a certain way. When you think about personality types and which category salespeople fit into, I think it is safe to assume that they are definitely in the group that loves competition.
  • How many of you had to wait until the last minute to find the energy to get your paper done in college? Cram on a test?COMT GeneSome people cannot perform unless stress is high while others crumble under that same stress
  • Success requires overcoming fearEntering competitionEveryone has personal threshold where benefits outweigh fears
  • In fact those who focus on what they’ll win vs the odds of winning compete far more oftenWe all constantly keep track of odds of winning and the expected value returnJason Lezak received an extra boost of energy when he saw that he had gained a little on Alain Bernard- he had a chance! Makes you dig deeper
  • The opposite is also very trueIf you don’t feel you have a chance at all you will quickly lose your will to competeTherefore, nothing is more important than keeping competition close
  • When Leaders are not challenged, they coastThose too far behind stop trying
  • In Top Dog, the authors talk about several studies that show that the more people there are in the competition, the odds of getting in the top tier drop and people don’t try as hardSAT scoresSmaller venues do betterBig venues are intimidating and a reminder of how many people are competing with youHow we compare ourselves to others determines how we competeSome have wondered if the better performance of smaller teacher/student ratio is not based on the more personal attention, but because of the size of competition.
  • All any competitor needs is an equal match and a chanceThe rules must apply equally to all
  • The rivalry between the United States and France leading up that race was a huge factor;The US had not won in 4 years and you saw the comments from the French before the race saying they were going to crush the americansRivalries create upsetsi.e. Harvard and Yale
  • Spectators hampered performance for those learningSpectators improved performance for those who have mastered a skillIntermittent supervision works better than continuousIntroverts prefer no supervisionExtroverts need it to avoid becoming bored and lose focus
  • In his book Drive, Daniel Pink talks about how intrinsic motivation (autonomy, mastery, purpose) are much more effective than extrinsic motivation (money, prizes) when it comes to complex tasks. Managing a sales cycle is certainly a complex task, but is it true that compensation and contest prizes don’t work for this group? Intuitively we certainly know that they do have an impact. Motivation is not a single level.People can’t be trusted to know what truly motivates them
  • The difference in prize values – between 1st, 2nd, etc makes a difference in competitionToo big of a spread- competitors cheatToo small – don’t try hard enoughOn PGA tours, the bigger the purse, the more chances the players take
  • The more frequently people or teams compete, the less impact bragging rights has on performanceIn the workplace, rewards, compensation become more important in how hard someone competes
  • People are not captive- they are not forced to work in your companyA workplace that is too egalitarian and non – competitive will repel the stars
  • Teamwork is powerful because it involves Belonging to something greater than yourselfIn swimming, there is no real coordinated effort, just individual performances. However, Jason Lezak performed way better on the 4x100 team than he ever had individually. He understood the power of teamwork and Before the race He told his teammates that they should think about the race as a 400 not a 4 by 100Just telling someone they have the same birthday makes them work harder on shared taskResearchers have studied brain patterns and found that people’s brains actually function differently when part of a team (even as a spectator). When watching teammates, your brain functions as if you were doing the action. Similar reaction to yawning when someone else yawns
  • The closer you get to the end, prevention mode starts to kick inThreat situations add stress and reduce performanceMost competitors perform better in Challenge situationsWhen creating competitions, contests, etc. pay attention to threat situations- expectations of a win. Just changing the competition to a challenge can boost performance.
  • In his book, Enterprise Games, Michael Hugos talks about a Game like operating model when it comes to business processes. By examining the core elements of any good game goals, rules, feedback systems and voluntary participation and applying them to business we can improve those processes. Not just points, but really examining the processes and designing systems that really work. When you look at these elements they look an awful lot like good business management practices that have been around for decades. The thing is, games just do them much better with better clarity, more real time feedback. If only employees had the same level of clarity on the goals and where they stand as WOW, we’d perform much better.
  • He goes on to say that feedback systems are the key to making this work well. By leveraging data integration into existing systems, doing data analytics and then leveraging multiple modes of communication including video, animation, sound, etc we can bring the same level of excitement to the workplace found in games.
  • Along those lines, recognition is also huge. Bersin and associates concluded that orgranizations that excel…
  • They give some practical guidelines for accomplishing this.
  • Recogntion is key. Too often, by the time someone is recognized for a win, it has been weeks or months and the thrill is gone. Everyone already knows about it. One of the things our customers love in our product is the instant recognition with the real time sales gong or breaking news alerts whenever someone does something that matters
  • Sales Culture: Creating a High Performance - Mike Smalls

    1. 1. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Creating a High Performance Sales Culture MICHAEL SMALLS 408-498-9601
    2. 2. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. mo∙ti∙va∙tion /,mōtǝ’vāSHǝn/ Noun 1. The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. 2. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something. Synonyms motive – incentive – stimulus – impulse
    3. 3. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Engaged Salespeople are Better Performers Source: Gallup Management Journal November 2001 • Deliver Better Sales Results • Stay with Company Longer • Create More Customer Loyalty
    4. 4. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Salespeople Represents Biggest Group of Disengaged Employees Less than 1/3 of Employees are Motivated & Engaged
    5. 5. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. How Do You Get Engaged & Motivated Salespeople?
    6. 6. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc.
    7. 7. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing
    8. 8. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Competition Improves Performance
    9. 9. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Competition Hormones Collaboration Hormones =
    10. 10. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Not True for Everyone 25%of people not impacted by competition 25%negatively impacted
    11. 11. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Wiring Plays A Big Role
    12. 12. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Some Perform Better Under Stress
    13. 13. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Risk Taking is Key in Competition
    14. 14. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Focus on Odds or Rewards?
    15. 15. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Competition Must be Close
    16. 16. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc.
    17. 17. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Size Matters
    18. 18. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. A Level Playing Field
    19. 19. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Rivalries: Competition on Steroids
    20. 20. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. The Audience Effect
    21. 21. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Top Dog: Motivational Hierarchy Prizes & Bonuses Trophies & Titles Winning Being Better Than Others Intrinsic Motivation: Doing Something For the Love of It
    22. 22. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Prize Spreads
    23. 23. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Competition Frequency
    24. 24. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Stars Like Competitive Workplaces
    25. 25. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. The Team Effect
    26. 26. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Playing to Win or Not to Lose
    27. 27. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Enterprise Games: Michael Hugos Game Like Operating Model 1. Goals 2. Rules 3. Feedback Systems 4. Voluntary Participation
    28. 28. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Feedback Systems • Connects with Existing Systems • Data Analytics • Real Time Communication
    29. 29. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. more likely to generate strong results than peers Bersin & Associates, Nov, 2012 12x Organizations that Excel at Employee Recognition are
    30. 30. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Recognition Best Practices Clear Goals Clear Recognition Criteria Use Technology for Flexibility and Frequency Multi-Front Recognition Offensive Recognition & Rewards that Employees Value Bersin & Associates, Nov, 2012
    31. 31. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Takeaways
    32. 32. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Create a Healthy Competitive Environment 1. Make sure the playing field is fair 2. Keep the competition close 3. Don’t just focus on top performers 4. Don’t just measure end results 5. Develop strategy for sustained competitions 6. Pay Attention to prizes & prize spreads
    33. 33. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Back It Up With Recognition
    34. 34. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. About Hoopla Transforming the way companies motivate employees and drive performance.
    35. 35. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Broadcast Displays Web Application Mobile/ Tablet (future) • Tightly integrated into Salesforce • Measures Stats, Goals, Actions • Create Challenges, Contests, Games • Reward with Points, Trophies, & Prizes Hoopla Scoreboard
    36. 36. Copyright 2013 Hoopla Software, Inc. Thank You. MICHAEL SMALLS 408-498-9601 @hooplasoftware