“Impact is the name of the game.” – Scott Ingram in today’s Tip 1340
What’s your thought about this?
Join the conversation below and check out the Newsletter!
Have feedback? Want to share a sales tip? Call or text the Sales Success Hotline: 512-777-1442 or Email: [email protected]
Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. I’ve got kind of a lot on my mind as we get ready to kick off the 2022 Sales Success Summit on Monday, so I’m going to share a double dose of my thoughts this weekend before leaning quite hard on the community to help with their thoughts and tips coming out of the Summit the next few weeks.
Today’s tip is a little bit soapboxy and was prompted by a piece in The Hustle, which is one of my favorite daily newsletters. They did a segment on Productivity Paranoia and the disconnect between workers, 87% of whom say they’re productive at work, and leaders who are almost the complete opposite because only 12% are confident their teams are productive. There’s a link to the full newsletter for you at DailySales.Tips/1340 if you want to read it yourself.
It was Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella who called this productivity paranoia, and I think their conclusion is spot on. They suggest pivoting from stressing over whether employees are working enough, to helping them prioritize what’s most important. That includes clarifying what to do and what not to do and rewarding impact over activity.
Impact over Activity. I love that, and I think that’s the gap that we see. Unfortunately, it gets worse in times of underperformance. I experienced this most acutely early in my career. In 2008, I was working for a multi-billion dollar company with an incredible track record for double-digit growth and there was a recession coming on and things were getting hard. This stuff kind of rolls down hill and I think there were 8 layers of people between me and the CEO, and the focus on activity kept cascading down until it got to me and I don’t think I’m exaggerating in saying that I was spending close to 25% of my time documenting what I was spending my time doing.
I’m seeing this a lot today. There’s more and more focus on activity and micromanagement around that activity. The problem is, activity isn’t what’s needed. It’s impact! And all too often this activity mandate is one size fits all. The expectation is that everyone should be cranking out the same number of dials, outbound touches, or what have you. But that’s just lazy leadership.
I had a conversation with a really strong performer a number of months ago. She was the top performer in her group and was generating the most pipeline and brining in the most revenue. By the way, that’s called impact! All of a sudden she was being held to activity metrics that were preventing her from running the high touch, high quality, and high converting outreach plays that had allowed her to be successful. She was also super frustrated and was starting to hate her job. The same happened to me. I only tolerated the micromanagement for a handful of months before I left.
We have to start by focusing on impact. Both in the way we think about our own activities and also those of our team. Different people need different things. Someone might already have a really large pipeline, but the majority of it is early stage. That person probably needs to focus more on moving those deals forward. Of course, someone that does have a really thin pipeline may very well need to focus on activities, but we have to be thoughtful about what the right activities are for that person.
How have they been most effective? If they’re great on the phone, why would you insist that they focus more on social and email touches or vice versa?
Impact is the name of the game. Where’s the gap? Focus on that! That might lead to activity accountability, but at least at that point, each individual is focused on the right activities that are going to make the biggest difference for them.
The worker-manager relationship should be a partnership. It should be a collaboration, not an us vs. them situation. It’s up to both parties to lean into that idea and to build trust and impact together.
Now if you don’t think you’re ever going to get that in your current role and it’s time to make a move. Come on back tomorrow for my thoughts on Choosing the Right Next Company. Thanks for listening!