What’s Holding You Back?
It’s a new year and a new decade. It is time to reflect on where you are, where you would like to be and commit yourself to get there. Like most sales leaders, you want to achieve your sales objectives. You may want to be the top region, and you may even want to take your career to the next level. Is there something holding you back?
What’s Holding You Back?
You have many significant strengths, strong knowledge, a drive for success, an outstanding team, and yet something is holding you back.
What I see time and time again is that the top sales leaders are hyper-focused. They know what they need to do to be successful and they focus their time, their energy, and their mindset on what’s critical.
By default, they delegate, eliminate, minimize and avoid getting bogged down in the minutia and timewasters that have little or no impact on their success.
Most sales leaders that I coach say that they would like to:
- Spend more time leading and develop their salespeople
- Get better at follow up and create a culture of accountability
- Interact more frequently with key customers
Follow the 3 D’s to getting and staying focused
- Determine what’s critical
- Delegate, delegate, delegate
- Develop a winning mindset
1. Determine What’s Critical
The reality is that you are either focused or not focused. You can’t be half-focused or somewhat focused. Focus is an all-or-nothing proposition. Focus is where and what you decide to direct your time and energy.
Do you know what your three critical success factors (CSF) are? If you don’t or can’t rhyme them off, then go ahead and determine what they are and write them down.
Now have a look at your calendar:
- What percentage of your time do you have allocated to your 3 CSF today, this week and this month?
- Block off as much time as you can for your CSF. See how the percentages change.
- Eliminate, say NO to meetings or tasks that don’t contribute to your success.
- Continue to do this process and commit to focusing on what is critical and be brutal to what’s not.
2. Delegate, Delegate and Delegate
One of the biggest time-suckers is when your salespeople ask you to solve their problems or put out fires. Of course, you can solve your sales reps’ issues. Of course, it feels good to do so, however, if you continue to do so, then they will always expect you to be there every time they have an issue.
One of my favorite books is the One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey which talks about the different monkeys that get put on your back. The one monkey that should be directed back to your salespeople is the one that they put on your back.
Do you go to your boss and ask them to solve your issues? Of course not. So, why do your salespeople come to you and ask you to solve their issues? Even though you are an effective problem solver, that’s not your job. Your job is to develop self-managing salespeople. Only by coaching them on solving their own problems will you be able to focus on what’s critical.
3. Develop a Winning Mindset
Research shows that how we think affects how we feel and how we behave. As a sales leader, you deal with so many issues that it is easy to fall into a negative mindset, and this mindset affects your energy, drive, and how you communicate with others.
So if you can find learnings in failures, have a sense of humor, focus on the present, find the good in your salespeople and project positivity, you will not only impact yourself, but you will have a positive impact on the people you lead.
It sounds so simple, so basic, so what’s holding you back?
The first step in improving your performance and that of your team starts with focus. Determine what you need to do to be successful. Allocate more time and energy to your CSF. Be ruthless in how you allocate your time as it is your only finite resource.
Develop self-managing salespeople by delegating and empowering them to solve their issues. Get those monkeys that are slowing you down off your back.
Focus on developing a winning mindset by focusing on positivity. Your mindset not only impacts your performance but has an incredible impact on your salespeople.