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"Monday is the perfect day to correct last week's mistakes." - Anonymous

Good morning! Here we go! Another week starts with a jam-packed Monday! At least, that has always been my approach.

As a sales leader, I dedicated most of, if not all of Monday to my team's individual meetings.

These one-on-one's proved to be one of the most important leadership disciplines of my career.

Before you start going old school on me, think about the real opportunity to take an hour to actually speak to your team members, with a specific, pre-planned agenda, at a specific pre-planned time. (Not: #sendanemail; #callmesometime; #whatsupthisweek; #CRMisuptodate)

Listen, people are not actually speaking to one another anymore. Do you really want to make a difference as a respected leader? Push for high quality communication and schedule your meetings.

Here are 4 tips to get the most of out of your one on ones:

1. 1:1 meetings are specific appointments. These meeting are on the calendar and with reason, should take on the same significance as a customer appointment. Just like a customer meeting, you show up on time and are fully prepared to have a meaningful session. And, BTW, these meetings are scheduled with EVERY person on the team.

2. They are agenda-driven. No surpises here. You and your sales rep know exactly what the meeting is about and exactly what to expect from the discussion.

  • Review of last week's activity - customer calls vs. target

  • Call plan review - accomplishment vs. objective

  • New account acquisition/deal review - current status vs. decision criteria

  • Planned activity for the upcoming week - formal vs. informal preparation

  • Proactive, not reactive - how I can help vs. let me know how it goes

But Fraaank, doesn’t all of this data reside in CRM?

Really? According to a study by the Gartner Group, companies are spending nearly $20 billion on CRM software, yet the adoption rate is less than 50 percent (other studies have shown a positive adoption rate as low as 26 percent). By Gartner's calculations, this means that up to $9 billion is essentially being wasted on CRM solutions. Don't get me wrong, I understand the value of these tools, but I can assure you of this - I never missed submitting my weekly, paper-driven activity report for fear of just how wonderful my weekend would get started. I can also tell you that I would never rely on close ratios and forecast data from CRM, without having the following conversation (#3). There is a balance here that someday will be accomplished.

3. Metrics are evaluated. Yes, I need to know how many sales calls are being made. Yes, I need know that my team is communicating, directly with the customer and specifically a key decision-maker. Yes, I need to know if we are going to win the deal, with confidence. Yes, I need to know, in detail, how we will achieve our forecast or openly understand why we will miss. Yes, I need to know that if while traveling, multiple sales calls are scheduled and accomplished.

"If you are not keeping score…then you are just practicing."

-Vince Lombardi

4. You are accountable. This is YOUR team and only you are accountable for the team’s successes and failures. If you accept personal accountability, make sure you make a difference, gaining a level of detail necessary to influence results. Performance or excuse. As a teammate yourself, you must decide which you will accept from yourself and from those with whom you work.

Our Managing Partners at Butler Street have lived through these leadership experiences. Through a disciplined high quality communication approach, sales leaders have the opportunity to truly represent their position in an organization. Want to know what’s really going on? Ask the sales leader or any leader that demonstrates the power of give and take communication.

Give it some thought and give me call, but not on Monday morning. My Partners and I are in a meeting.


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