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What Sales “Broken Windows” Does Your Sales Team Have Since Adapting to Virtual Sales?

Is your sales team prepared to win and achieve their sales goals today? Do salespeople consistently exhibit the discipline to drive profitable sales growth? Do your salespeople clearly understand your expectations and they are accountable to them? Are your salespeople training in product and sales skills?

One way to ensure your sales team breaks the growing global trend of sales teams not achieving sales growth goals is to fix broken windows in your sales organization. In this post we will discuss where to look for broken windows that are hurting your sales performance.

Having disciple and being accountable is not about doing 1,000’s of things perfectly. Being accountable and having discipline is about is having clear goals and expectations on how you will achieve those goals. As the sales leader it is about inspecting what you expect and understanding the behaviors and attitudes to support key goals.

Some time ago I wrote a post to improve sales effectiveness inspired by my son who is a police officer. It was titled: Increase Sales” Fix Broken Windows in how your team sells.

My son who is a police officer shared something called “Broken Window Theory” and I thought it was fascinating. Broken window theory suggests that visible signs of crime like cars stripped and up on blocks in the street, street signs missing, traffic lights not working, people consuming alcohol in public and other anti- social behaviors create an environment for more crime and more serious crimes.

The theory suggests that policing methods that target minor crimes such as vandalism, public drinking and others create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, thereby preventing more serious crimes.

It made me think about how I have seen poor sales behaviors if not checked early can hurt a sales teams’ performace

In the 1969 a psychologist named Philip Zinbardo from Stanford ran an experiment.

The findings from the study?

Unintended behavior leads to a breakdown of community controls

One broken window leads to many if left unaddressed

Disorders drives fear and withdraw from community laws and norms

Even the best citizens in a community can start bad behaviors if the behaviors are left unchecked

“Ok Mark, this is all interesting … but how does this apply to driving profitable sales increases year over year?”

I thought you would never ask!

How many broken windows exist in your company’s sales organization?

Do you know where to look?

Are there new “Broken Windows” since the challenges of Covid-19?

Does your team have a formal sales process?

Is your sales team using it?

Are your sales managers coaching?

Many broken windows have been broken for years and they became “ how we do things around here”. New team members will see them immediately but if they want to survive they learn to look the other way.

Instead of repairing the broken windows teams try to just cover them up. However when we experience a market disruption we can become aware of broken windows if we know how and where to look.

Let me share the broken windows that I have seen since Covid- 19 has impacted our customers and how many of us sell today.

Majority of salesperson’s time spent in non-sales activities

Salespeople starting each day without a plan

Salespeople not trained in virtual sales technology so customer experience online is poor on Zoom calls

Salespeople not using cameras on Zoom calls

Sales people are listening to pitch and not listening to learn

Salespeople using Zoom for all calls when a phone call or email would have been a better mode

No pre-call plans 

No CRM entry for future meetings or past meeting notes

Outdated company content and value propositions used in calls that no longer resonate with buyers today

Poor or no customer follow up

Not following up on leads provided, QDD disorder ( assuming they are bad leads)

Customer email not responded to in 24 hours

Out-dated sales process

No plan to achieve their sales goals

Showing up late to weekly meetings

Salespeople playing feature and benefit bingo in Zoom meetings and not asking questions

Not being prepared for customer meetings with data

No cadence for how often they visit with each key customer

Not completing expense reports timely

Poor interpersonal exchanges with team members from other business groups

Talking too much in meetings with customers

Salespeople who have never been trained in sales (product-yes, sales skills-no) 

Not understanding their customers’ businesses

Not understanding their market or market language

Not understanding how your product or service impacts your customers’ bottom line

Not qualifying potential customers

Not updating sales stage in CRM

Asking poor discovery and qualifying questions in meetings

Poor listening, talking over customers in Zoom calls

Selling on price not value

No ideal customer profile so everyone could be a customer 

Poor to no relationship building plans at key customers

Key account budgets/goals… but no strategic growth plans on how to achieve them

Only knowing the buyers at key accounts no relationship with other influencers 

Sales pipeline bucket not a funnel 

No formal sales process for virtual sales

If you see some of the above you have broken windows in your sales skills that need to be repaired before your team can experience profitable sales growth.

The above are some broken windows I have observed but there are plenty more I am sure.

How about you…

What broken windows have you observed in your sales teams that are negatively impacting your profitable growth plans?

Do you have associates in key sales leadership roles that have not been trained to lead salespeople?

If we allow sales broken windows in how we sell they hurt our ability to drive profitable sales growth and increase shareholder value.

We are not recommending everyone has to be perfect at 1,000’s of things.

What we are saying is we need discipline and accountability in our sales teams with the right sales skills and behaviors today.

As the leader you need to set the expectation and ensure compliance. If you observe a behavior that is not consistent with what your team has identified as your core values you must be safe to address it and correct it. If not the little broken windows become chaos and good team members in your sales community will start behaving in ways counter to driving profitable growth.

If you would like to find your sales broken windows in less than 7 days and create a plan to fix them let’s schedule a call.

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