Monday, September 24, 2012

A Sense of Urgency Can Mean the Difference...

One of my clients recently asked us to help him analyze why his team keeps falling just short of their goals.  The analysis resulted in an interesting story and one we see time after time.  His team had everthing they needed to be successful:  great products, customers with needs, good tools and internal resources, as well as a well defined plan.  Yet, something was missing, the sales folks just seemed to be going through the motions.  They seemed to be missing "energy" and excitement. 

It did not take long to realize, what was really lacking was a sense of urgency.  Within The company did not recognize the results of sales effort until the following year so there was no immediate reinforcement or incentive.  Everyone understood the components of their annual plan, but there was no real sense of urgency to get out there and push hard today and every day!

The VP of Sales initiated a 90 day sales plan for each quarter, with defined milestones, stretch goals, and some short term rewards.  These rewards included things like: extra vacation days, dinner for two, etc.  He also added in some weekly teleconferences for success sharing and problems solving.  Additionally, he communicated with excitement the progress the team was making each week.  It was amazing to see, before long nearly every sales person was making, and in many cases, exceeding their 90 day goals.  Plus everyone was having fun.  There was a new energy within the sales force that began to extend into the support functions as well.

The moral of the story is that demonstrating a sense of urgency can make the difference between achieiving your goals or falling short.  There needs to be a reason for that sense of urgency and there needs to be ongoing communications to reinforce it.  You must find what will work for you and for your team.  Sometimes just increased communications and follow up can do the trick.  Other times, there needs to be a tangible reward.  Regardless, when you get to the end of a year, instilling sense of urgency can be the critical success factor.  What are you doing to create that sense of urgency today? 

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