AWARE: Draws on awareness of Self, Team and Opportunities to deliver superior results

AWARE: Draws on awareness of Self, Team and Opportunities to deliver superior results

All he needs is a flowing maroon robe, thought Karan, and Dev will be a Shaolin monk. Visible on the video call, was the book lined wall behind Dev, where Karan could spot books on mindfulness. Is this a sales coach or a new age guru, Karan wondered. And what might be his age? 60, 65 or 70?

Dev’s eye-crinkling smile lit up the screen as he spoke slowly. “Alright Karan, how have you been doing and what can I help you with today?”

Karan straightened his tie, polished his glasses before putting them back on and sipped on water.

“How do you think I’m doing in my new role? I’ve been copying my team’s numbers to you. And what is that document you said you will share?”

Dev gave him one more smile. “Easy, easy does it my boy. I know how eager you are to start firing in your new sales manager role. And going by what you tell me and the data you’ve shared, you’ve done all the right things to get started. But there’s more to come”

“What have I done right?”

“Tracking your market and team’s catchments real time are good beginnings. If you wait for end of quarter or end of month, all you have is dead data. There’s no longer a trend to follow and leverage. You can’t course correct either. So, getting a head start on tracking is good. But that’s isn’t enough. You should also understand your people a lot more in depth. After all they are the ones who will bring the numbers for you”

“What about the tool you promised to share?”

“Patience, young man. Allow me to get there. The ascent to excellence in sales management is a 4-stage journey. You could think of it like the Shaolin Chambers. Promise me that you will master each stage before you move on to the next. That you will never rest till your good is better and your better, best and then becomes awesome”

“Yes, I will. Can I have the tool please?”

“Here it is” said Dev, showing a laminated card to the camera. The card had a table with instructions. “I’m going to mail a soft copy for you to print and laminate. That's only for you because I save it for my prized students. Let's see where you reach with it"

Karan knew that minute, he had indeed asked for it ...

Three Fold Awareness - Sales Masters who build resilient sales teams show awareness at 3 levels:

(i) Self-awareness: They are acutely aware of their own selves, the strong points they can leverage and weak areas they need to compensate with complementary support.

(ii) Team awareness: They have intimate understanding of individual strengths and deficiencies of their team members. They use this understanding in getting every team member to operate from their strengths and create synergies that maximize sales outcomes.

(iii) Opportunity awareness: How much juice does this fruit hold? And how much is my team capable of extracting, given their current competence and disposition? This is an awareness of the potential cold, unforgiving numbers that an opportunity holds.

Sales masters recognize that numbers are how, success is measured for sales teams. You are as good a sales manager as the quota percentage your team has done. That spells the difference between leading a pack of quota crushing champs or herding a bunch of also-rans.

So, sales masters have an astute awareness of the markets their teams operate in and the opportunities available to them. And their key contribution is in bringing opportunities and people together in ways that fire the bottom-lines of their Company and its Customers.

RAC Model - Mercuri offers a powerful concept called the RAC (Results-Activity-Competence) Model with which sales leaders can transform their teams using their own awareness. This model involves a 4-stage journey to excellence in sales leadership that Dev referred to in our story.

Evolved sales leaders are aware of which stage of the journey they are in and what they should do to ascend to the next stage. Below is a style-inventory to help you track your growth journey through awareness:

Stage 1 (GOOD) – You are proactive … but need to learn more about your people

Do this to get ready for the next level - (i) Remember your results will come through your salespeople (ii) Have you factored the individual variations in attitudes, skills and knowledge and how it could impact your results? Variations such as: | Experienced but set-in-their ways | New, lacking experience but enthusiastic | Slow but hard working and consistent | Perceived ‘problem children’

Stage 2 (BETTER) – You know your people… but must know more about the quantity of their efforts

Do this to get ready for the next level - (i) It would be great if your approach recognizes the effort or activity required to achieve the assigned sales quotas (ii) We shouldn’t forget that results are only an outcome of the efforts or activities put in

Stage 3 (BEST) – You are clued into team’s effort quantity … but must learn about effort quality

Do this to get ready for the next level - (i) For guaranteed success ensure intelligent execution (ii) If team members simply carry out the manager’s instructions, this approach may misfire

Stage 4 (AWESOME) - You have an insight into your team’s effort quantity and quality … but must ensure direction is maintained

Do this to get ready for the next level - (i) The thing to do here is to hang on to your success (ii) And it takes a whole lot of effort to keep your team on top!

For the ascended sales masters, awareness is everything. Their three fold awareness of self, teams and opportunities helps them traverse the 4 stage journey rising from ‘Good’ to “Awesome’ in sales leadership excellence. They draw on their awareness to build resilient sales teams that deliver outstanding results

Pause to reflect: “For the ascended sales masters, awareness is everything”

Action Question: Reflect on your sales leadership style. Where are you finding yourself now, in the journey from Good to Awesome. How can you sharpen your awareness to get ready for the next level or keep your team on top?

Related Readings: Mercuri Insight document on “How does a sales manager manage by support?”

Takeaway Quote:  “Nobody is perfect but a team can be” – Dr. Meredith Belbin

About the series: This is the 60th in a series of 100 Posts that seek to build your #Sales Resilience.. as an individual salesperson, as a sales team, and as a sales organization. Because a Resilient India needs Resilient Sales.


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