Blaming the Economy is Just Too Easy – Becoming Accountable Sales Leaders

Blaming the Economy is Just Too Easy - Becoming Accountable Sales Leaders

A few years back, I had a conversation with a wise man. He taught me an important rule that has stayed with me all my life: I own every outcome. If times are good and business is flourishing, this outcome is mine alone and can’t be taken away. If things changed and my sales, revenues, or company began to decline, I would also be the owner of that outcome. Fundamentally, the rule was that accountability was a two-way street.

It doesn’t take a genius or a lot of knowledge to see that specific verticals have been adversely affected by changes in the economy in the past 36 months. While some industries are experiencing decline, others continue to grow and flourish. Consumer discretionary spending has plummeted. Small and medium-sized businesses have drastically reduced their balance sheets and cut costs. Today’s environment is one where pricing is a significant factor in our success. However, that’s just one piece of the puzzle. The economy still produces nearly $13 trillion in gross national product. This is a vast area to work in.

It is, overall, a more competitive marketplace. We adapt. Adjust. Confirm. Reinvent. It doesn’t matter what it takes. My experience had shown me that when people were making a lot of money and business was booming; they did it regardless of their actions or behavior. All of the destructive behaviors of salespeople, company owners, and sales managers were hidden by the good times from the 2000s to 2007. This logic was flawed. The business was moving so quickly that there was no reason to change. Ever heard anyone say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Here’s a better way to put it (and keep it in mind): If it ain’t broken, then you haven’t tried hard enough.

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You can be a leader, a salesperson, or the CEO of a company. If you are unhappy with your sales growth, you should ask yourself what you could do differently today than yesterday. Accountability means that you accept responsibility and ownership for all outcomes. It also means that you are open to making adjustments and changing direction (i.e., Business plan This is the essence of courage.

These are five tips to help you grow and be accountable.

1) Get back to basics

Go back to what made your early successes possible. Reveal your sales process, goals, and daily habits. The fundamentals are what have fueled your success. Sometimes simplicity is better.

2) Regain your education

Create a sales book, enroll in a corporate sales training seminar or sales training program, consult a sales coach, or read articles by thriving business and sales leaders. You can sharpen your skills by learning from others. Never stop.

3) Learn how to hunt

Now is the time to plant new seeds and to reach out to potential growth companies and new markets. You have no choice but to rebuild your business book. You won’t eat well if you don’t hunt 50% of the time. It’s a sure bet.

4) Track your activity.

Whether you are tracking calls, conversations, and sales, or using a customer relationship management tool, identify your numbers and ratios. It is vital to know your numbers and monitor your data points on a daily basis, weekly, and monthly basis.

5) Stop making excuses.

Excuses can only hinder progress and cause barriers to change. We can only move forward, fight for change and believe that everything will eventually work out. If you don’t, you are dead in the water. The status quo will be maintained, and your results (and even income) will continue to decline.

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