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Celebrating Celebration

If you're a University of Tennessee fan, you had plenty to celebrate this past weekend: The men's basketball team beat the No. 2 team in the U.S. (the rivals from the University of Kentucky), and then the Lady Vols won their league title. Being big fans, we decided to take 16 big, rocket fireworks and blow them up after dark. We laughed, had fun and enjoyed the color and noise.

About 20 minutes later, I noticed a car at the head of my driveway. I noticed the flashing red lights -- a local county police car!

Seems one of my neighbors didn't realize we were celebrating, and thought what they'd heard was gunfire. After explaining our Tennessee pride, the local policeman smiled and drove away.

While it had some unexpected results, that night of celebration was well-intentioned.

Several weeks ago, I discussed the need to build emotion into selling and in past blogs have covered the need for sales management to develop better coaching and create strong emotional stake within the sales team with sales incentive programs. Celebrations are one way to do that.

Celebrating, well, celebration in your sales organization is important and must be considered as an ongoing program.

As the end of the first quarter comes into sight, think of how your team will end the quarter. Hopefully, the answer is above target -- which is a reason to bring everyone together to celebrate! What will you do? How can you really make it unique -- different than a simple sports-bar dinner? How about a limo party with a special dinner or lunch at a special location? Perhaps lunch at the best business restaurant in town?

On the other hand, if your team finishes the first quarter below expectations, you should consider how you'll reach your team emotionally to encourage them to maintain focus, build on the accomplishments of the first quarter and position themselves to exceed their second-quarter goals. Find a reason to build their confidence. Create a "make up sales contest" where the prize is a big celebration if they achieve their second quarter goals, plus the shortfall from the first quarter. Look for something to celebrate for each person. Write them a note or present them with something small but meaningful -- a nice recognition that makes the salesperson know you care.

A quote from one of my mentors said it best: "When a salesperson is 85 percent of the quota, that is when you put your arm around them and help them up. When they are at 125 percent of the quota, that is when you push them for greater achievements."

What are your ideas for incorporating celebrations into your sales culture? Leave your comments below.

Ken Thoreson, president of Acumen Management Group Ltd., "operationalizes" sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory and platform services have illuminated, motivated and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead! Acumen Management provides keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. 3f4qb8v9ge

Posted by Ken Thoreson on March 01, 2010 at 9:03 AM