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Posted by Todd Hockenberry ● Mar 08, 2022

Accountability for the right habits leads to success


In the last few posts, I talked about disciplines as the paths to the goal. Picking the right things to do puts you on the path to achieving your goals.

Then building habits which are the regular behaviors that enable the disciplines you follow to succeed. Habits are the steps to stay on the path of the discipline.

accountability-social-shareResults happen when you combine disciplines and habits with accountability.

Too often, we only reward the achievement of the goal and not the habits or steps required to reach it. It sounds right to reward the achievement of the goals until we realize that too many of our marketing initiatives and salespeople fall short of those goals.

Is this goal-rewarding approach bound to be ineffective, failing to achieve quotas or hitting marketing campaign goals?

The percentage of salespeople hitting their quotas has dropped from 63% to 53% in the past six years, the CSO Insights World-Class Sales Practices Report found.

Ouch! Half of your salespeople are not hitting their goals.

Sell harder. I heard this from a sales manager once.

53% might be good when you see this data:

Here are a few sales close ratios by industry:

  1. Biotechnology Industry Close ratio: 15%
  2. Business & Industrial Industry Close ratio: 27%
  3. Computer Software Industry Close ratio: 22%
  4. Computers & Electronics Industry Close ratio: 23%
  5. Finance Industry Close ratio: 19%

Source: HubSpot Sales Close Rate Industry Benchmarks

Last time I said, the plateau between the start and the success is the land where goals go to die.

Why? We focus on the outcome and not the habits that lead to the outcome.

So how do we move in this direction of rewarding the habits and behaviors that lead to success?

Think key actions first.

Then measure and reward those key actions that lead to the goal.

Quick story. When I led marketing and sales at a small laser manufacturing company, competing against some global giants, one of the steps in the proposal process was to create a representative sample of their part marked (bar codes, logos, images, text, etc) using the laser equipment under consideration. 

The key step though was to create a thorough sample report, with video, and return it quickly. Our habit was to overnight the sample with the report and video within one business day.

Anyone looking for a marking laser could identify 10 companies in 5 minutes of Internet searching so we knew we had to stand out. Plus the big companies often had relationships already with these prospects, or the prospects at least knew about them. They didn’t know about us.

By returning the samples quickly we very often set the benchmark for what the sample should look like and what the report should contain. By setting the bar high and being first we were able to position the company at a higher level in the prospect’s mind. And we won a lot of business!

We incentivized the technicians and even the admin person to stick to this formula every time we had a sample request. They did not have control over the deal, that was the sales team's job, but their efforts were critical to success so we rewarded them for these crucial habits.

Your job is to find those keystone habits that lead to your goals.

Then create cues and processes that trigger the habit.

Results are a lagging measure of your habits.

Creating these business growth habits is the key to reaching your goals.

Contact Top Line Results Now

Topics: Sales, Leadership