We have all heard that “Sales” is a numbers game. How many dials of the phone equates to actual contacts with prospective customers? How many conversations with prospects turn into meetings which get to proposals? Of the proposals written, how many does it take to get a “YES” commitment?
All of these metrics are necessary to track so that proper expectations and execution can take place to achieve company goals and objectives. By tracking these numbers, you can spot trends earlier in the generation of sales and make corrections to tactics and strategies so that improvement can be realized.
All-star “Hall of Fame” level baseball athletes get measured on many levels. Let’s just focus on hitting the ball. A “Hall of Fame” player typically hits in the very high .290 to over .300 for the life of their sports career. If we translate that to actual plate appearances and getting a hit, we would see that this “Hall of Fame” athlete only contacts the ball for a hit approximately 3 times out of every 10 times they go to the batters box.
This metric does not factor in the number of swings during each plate appearance. If we consider that each batter sees an average of 3 to 4 pitches per at bat and during those opportunities to hit the ball they only hit for a base hit 3 in 10 times then it takes a lot of potential attempts to get to that .300 target average.
During the season, as a players batting average dips to lower numbers, intervention is put in place. The batting coach and player begins looking at film of the swing to pin point subtle changes which could be impacting the end result. Has the stance changed? Has the players eye contact to pick up the pitch changed? Many various elements are analyzed to identify area for targeted improvement. The key here is that the batting average metric helped trigger the process to improve.
As your business finishes up 2017 and rolls out 2018 sales plans, make sure you have the necessary measurement systems in place so you can get input on performance changes. These metrics measurements need to be done all the time to ensure consistency and reliability. You can measure for a month and then remeasure 4 months later. Too often sales teams start out a sales year all revved up and doing the small stuff diligently. As their pipeline begins to fill they drop off the basics and this is when their batting average begins to fall off. If there is not a metric to measure and give indication, then time is lost when an intervention is not taken to help get the person back on track.
This week, take a good look at your sales measurement systems. Are they in place to give you timely information? Are they tracking the correct information? Are they simple enough so sales people will do them and appreciate the feedback they can provide to help them sell more?
No sales metrics for your team? It is time to call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and start putting your sales team at a “Hall of Fame” level production.
Some weeks ago we discussed the vision, purpose and core values of running your business. We discussed vision as the road map, purpose as the guiding light and core values as the guard rails that keep you on the path. Since then a few questions have come my way with respect to this “purpose” thing which is now getting more discussion in the marketplace.
Generations of newer employees are and have been entering the marketplace with views of how they believe things should be run. This is nothing new. When the war heroes of the past world wars (traditionalist) were the majority of business leaders and the baby boomers entered the marketplace they brought with them different views than prior generations. They wanted to run things differently and the landscape of commerce in USA was pushing forward at rapid rates. Civil rights changes, technology, sprawling urban cities and wage improvements all contributed to new ways of building businesses.
With this growth came more improvements and the desire for “boomers” to provide even a better life style for their next generations. This rapid upward spiral became so intense that this fundamental purpose of providing better for their family ultimately evolved into what the media labeled as greed. This same greed is what afforded the future generations to not just be provided with so many creature comforts, but to give them the option to not fully appreciate or understand the original purpose of the prior generations.
For a cycle of time between the latter end of the boomers and the early stages of millennials, purpose was hardly even a topic in the business arena. It tended to be relegated to select smaller groups of people seeking a greater non business cause.
So with much of the economic stage fairly stable for long periods of time (yes there were ups and downs) and basic living expenses covered, the newer and forthcoming generations are reintroducing purpose as a place to land on when looking for internal satisfaction. They are not so focused on providing for future generations as they are more focused on themselves. So purpose or what makes up purpose for these upcoming generations is again different than purpose of past generations. Their purpose is shaped by the behaviors and experiences of their journey along the path to adulthood.
Oddly, when upcoming generations are asked this question about “What is their purpose?” many struggle to even fully think or comprehend the broader and more significant realm of the concept of real purpose. They sometimes latch onto purpose as it being anything other than previous generations felt it was to be.
The large challenge for business owners and leaders is not with the confusion about purpose but that not all next generation people are in the same box. It is almost like there are two different camps of current and future team members. One portion is very focused and gets their purpose, their direction, their opportunity to contribute and be acknowledged to feed their self recognition. The other portion flounders about seeking to be part of some group recognition and then attach that “movement” to themselves. Both want and need to feed that “self” gratification but achieve it differently.
For owners you need to identify what your business can provide to one or both groups and then align your team members around what you can and do provide.
This week, as we move into the end of the calendar year and holiday season, take some time to more fully understand your purpose, your business’s purpose and what embodies those elements in your company to attract and align the best talent in the marketplace.
Do you know your purpose? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and let’s discuss.
At this time of year, Your Partner in Progress – JKL Associates, wishes you, your business, your family and all the families of your staff and clients the happiest of Thanksgivings.
All year long we silently and outwardly acknowledge others efforts and contributions. It is a year round behavior of giving thanks for the bounty we are blessed to receive and participate in.
During this special Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, take some time as you gather with family and friends to openly and overtly thank them for all of their silent support given without request but with meaningful intention.
At JKL Associates, we genuinely thank each of you for your continued confidence and support in helping you and your team be the best you can be.
QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS – EMAIL US AT PARTNERS@JKLASSOCIATES.COM OR CALL OUR OFFICE AT (313) 527-7945
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COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2017
Posted in Assessments, Business Builder, JKLAssociates, Perpetuation, Promise Culture, Purpose, Talent Engagement, Transition, VisionRead More
Next week is Thanksgiving. This starts the unofficial transition to the end of the calendar year and starts a sense of urgency to bring 2017 projects and objectives to completion. Sales targets can either be surpassed or fall short. Operational improvements can be launched or missed being completed putting off better efficiencies into next year.
While all of this end of year business energy takes place, there is also the increase in distractions from holiday activities. It is great that these holiday festivities are worked into the business. It allows for staff along with their families to enjoy this time of year. It is also important that these important holiday activities are aligned with remaining committed to the overall performance and business objectives.
For leaders it means the focusing on bringing 2017 to a positive close and launching 2018 with momentum. This transition is critical to each of these years performance. Your plan for 2017 is all but frozen and the objective is delivering on those goals. Your plan for 2018 should be well defined and beginning to solidify so that your energies are on closing out 2017 and not being spread too thin while still having to craft 2018 on the fly.
This coming week prior to the holiday, set aside about 30 minutes to revisit and firm up 2018. It is easy to say that you will have time after Thanksgiving to get to it. Unfortunately, for many leaders, upon arriving back the week after the holiday, your attention will be focused on the end of 2017. Therefore the time to package 2018 objectives, plans, goals and strategies becomes all the more important to lock in place sooner rather than later.
A little behind on your 2018 plan or need a solid review of your plan? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 for some insights which can enable greater success.
In today’s ever changing landscape of business, leaders need to expand their center of influence. Yes, this helps in gaining business transaction (sales) but equally if not more important is the circle of trusted advisors you engage in the growth and development of your business.
Who are these resources to walk the path of ownership and leadership with you and your business?
The size, place along the life of the business and complexities of your business and industry will have influence on these resources. In some cases, these advisors are internal resources while in other cases these are third party to your payroll. Without them, it can be the difference between growth or stagnation. Some of your Trusted Advisory Council (TAC) are pretty straight forward. Most businesses enlist the support of a book keeper/accountant/CPA. A good portion of businesses also have some legal support which is typically outsourced. Some leaders have business managers/coaches while others participate in industry groups and forums as a source of input and direction.
This week take a look at your Trusted Advisory Council (TAC). No differently than doing reviews of your staff, you need to look at the relationship path with your advisors. Are they contributing to your company’s purpose, passion and vision? Are they growing their skill set to bring more value back to your business? Have you outgrown their bandwidth – ability to provide the level of support you need?
This is not to suggest that the developed relationship you have with your advisors should be cast aside and bring in a new group of people. No, this is completely contrary to that perspective. You have already made an investment into the current relationship. You know them and they know you which is very valuable. What this does mean is that you need to look at the short and long term deliverable of the relationship. Is the particular advisor skilled to provide the level of support and insights at your future growth objectives? Is your advisor nearing retirement? Will your account will be passed along or sold to a new advisor? As you groom your business to become a more complete asset in your financial portfolio, do you need a different profile of advisors so you can protect your business and set it up to navigate tax implications for your estate?
Take some time this week to make a list of your advisors and schedule a meeting with each of them to review your relationship. You don’t have to walk alone down the path of building your business but you do have to engage the best resources to assist you along the way.
Need help in your advisors review? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and engage us to be a long-term business manger to keep you focused and on track to enhance your financial portfolio.
As JKL Associates moves forward beyond our 25 plus years in serving our clients, we to must change, grow and improve. Our purpose of “Transforming lives through building companies by operationalizing their purpose on a cultural framework where a “Promise” means something!” affirms who we are and what we commit to delivering to our clients.
In that commitment we have updated our website and invite you to spend your next 3 minutes to look at the brand of “JKL Associates.” We thank our many clients, who over the years have honored us with the opportunity to assist them in their business quest. Take a moment to review some of their thoughts on our website under the menu item “Why Clients Engage JKL Associates.”
Today, we move our Business & Talent Builder weekly newsletter/blog to its rightful location on our website under the menu item “3 Minute Weekly Insights.” You will now be able to visit as you have time or direct others to our site to gain weekly insights into the progress and overcoming the setbacks of owning and operating a successful business.
We look forward to your feedback on our website and encourage to send us business situations you would like to see us explore in future “3 Minute Weekly Insights” articles.
As always, feel free to call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The word promise causes a variety of reactions in people. To some it is a trite word. To others it garners the respect of true and genuine commitment. Some might reference the old saying that promises are meant to be broken while others will state that lies are meant to be kept. In a business world where transactions are the basis of the economy, promises need to be a central part of an organizations “Purpose,” “Vision,” and “Passion.”
Promise by definition:
1. a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen
2. assure someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen
Each day your company makes promises. As the business owner you make the promise to your employees that you will treat and respect them to a level you would like to be respected. Your sales team makes promises to your customers to provide goods and services to a defined standard of expectation. Your employees make promises to the company, the customer, their fellow team members and to themselves to perform their duties to the fullest level of performance defined by their role. Your company promises to vendors to pay them in a timely manner to terms and your vendors promise to provide materials and services to support and achieve your organizations objectives.
Your business is full of promises. Without promises your business collapses under the pressure of non-performance.
Unfortunately businesses today take their promises for granted. They assume everyone is on the same page and singing the same song with respect to the organizations goals, direction and expectations. This oversight causes lots of chaos and impacts bottom line profitability. It seems that breaking promises and asking for forgiveness is more the norm than fulfilling promises and celebrating the victory. Part of this mindset is that accountability to promises slides along a path between making the right difficult decision and not making a timely decision and hoping something changes to avoid the conflict.
This week you need to make a promise to yourself and your company to engage into a “Promise Culture.” It starts and grows from the top and there is no one better to start making and keeping promises than you.
Promises are not meant to be broken! Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 to enhance your culture to be alive with promises that actually mean something.
In the month of October as the ghouls and goblins appear on store windows and front lawns in your neighborhoods, one cannot escape that Halloween is right around the corner. This annual celebration of fear is an opportunity to find out where it plays a useful place in business or if fear is restricting your organizations full potential.
Let’s first understand that when the brain is stimulated by some external event which triggers the fight or flight type response, chemicals are released to prepare the body for a more physical response. Your heart begins to race, nerve endings become hyper aware, muscles become energized and you ready yourself for what is about to take place.
When walking through a haunted house in the dark and you are touched or someone suddenly appears your mind and body react. Because you placed yourself consciously into this situation you attempt to manage your fear reaction. Some are better than others in this mind management effort.
The same is true in business. Your path while building your organization can sometimes be like walking through the haunted house. You don’t really know when that situation, object or person is going to reach out to alter your reality. The question is how do you navigate those experiences and turn them from a negative flight response to a let’s learn from this and fight to the next level of growth response.
The trigger which starts your response is automatic. Somewhat like breathing in that we don’t consciously think to breathe. Much like breathing we can control how we breathe such as when the doctor tells you to take a couple of deep breaths. You control the normal breath pattern to a specific rate of taking in and releasing air. When a stimulus which causes a level of fear to be initiated, it has a couple of paths it takes at the same time. The quick path which causes an immediate reaction and a slower more thought enhanced approach which produces a more complete reaction. We have all seen this play out in the workplace. An employee makes a mistake which causes a fear of loss of customer and revenue and the employee is terminated immediately only to find out that the employee’s choice was actually in the best interest of the company. The quick response reaction to the fear of loss might very well have been the wrong decision. The slower response to the situation may have been better to this particular situation. On the same processing path, I have seen too many decisions take the slower path and end up with no ultimate action taking place which contributes to the situation negatively because the action of the employee is negated as acceptable and then becomes a repeated behavior moving forward.
This week, examine the “Fear” factor in your organization. Are their situations where you are succumbing to fear and it is holding you back? Are employees holding themselves back because they don’t want to be the subject of a fear based reaction from leadership?
Fear as a chemical reaction elevates the body to a new level of performance. How can you take this understanding and apply it to moving your business forward and not holding it back.
Are you fearful of making the right decision? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 so you can best manage your businesses growth to the next level or results
At the turn of the last century when automobiles were first showing up on the streets of this country there were many who just could not believe these noisy horseless carriages would replace the majestic buggies as the main transportation of the common man.
If we think about the businesses of the time, buggy whip manufacturer, blacksmiths, wooden wheel repair shops and many others supported how people moved from one place to another. As the automobile entered the landscape they had a choice of getting with the change or being left behind. Many held out and eventually went out of business. Others took the change as the spark to look beyond what they had become comfortable with and explore new options.
These times of change are full of many conflicting energies coming at you from various directions. It is almost like a lightening storm that passes your home. Strikes of lightening light up the sky in random areas followed by thunderous echoing booms. This light show and noise causes many to have anxiety while some see these storm event and take to the streets to chase them down.
This week you need to look at your business and evaluate if your business is stagnating? Is it beginning to rust away back to the origins of it beginnings? This might sound like a simple question to respond to but it is far more complex that it appears on the surface. The simple answer is that you just don’t see the next big things which will replace what you offer to the marketplace. The question is – are you looking in the right place to get the best input?
I’m confident the blacksmith just could not see the automobile replacing the need to shoe horses. No, it did not happen over night but it happened much quicker than most of them planned.
As the leader of your business, part of your role is to look out beyond what the rest of those in the business can see. Your staff depends on you to keep the business growing so they have work, jobs, income. If you are not looking forward then you are stagnating.
Stagnating business? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 to stop your business from rusting away.
All of us have rented a car for business or pleasure at some time in the past. Depending on location and rental company, your experience may have been most pleasurable or some what of a disaster. This week we are not discussing the operational high or low points of the rental companies. We are focusing more on the vehicles and how some of those using these cars treat them. So before you email me indicating you would not do any of these things…. I ask you to pause and simply appreciate that there are people that treat rental cars without the greatest of care.
In over hearing business travelers while waiting at the airport rental counter I recall such phrases as, it’s not my car so who cares how it gets returned or better for me to blow up the engine in this rental than my own car. I would then watch as they raced away from the parking lot having little regard for the vehicle let alone property or pedestrians.
So the question could be raised as to how they treat or use their own vehicle when back at home? Maybe they drive the same way? Maybe their car at home is on a lease so they will be returning it to the dealer anyway so why care? Answers to these questions are not readily available as I never tracked their personal use of their own vehicles. More importantly is did they draw a contrast as to how to use and protect the vehicle they rented/leased vs. one they purchase?
This contrast not only applies to rental cars but also how a business is grown and nurtured. If leadership views the business as disposable, they will make different choices in how they develop and mature not only the business but the resources inside the business.
As leaders we may not even recognize these subtle but important choices made regarding our business’s. Running the resources in the business at Red Line, much like a car engine, eventually has its toll on the organization or vehicle. Something breaks and now added cost and delays come into play. With the rental car you may not be the one to have the trouble but you contributed to it. In your business, you not only contribute to it but because you own it then the problem is yours.
This week take a walk around the rental car you call your business. Where are the nicks and scratches? Is the fabric torn from too much internal stress pulling on the various fibers/people in your company? Do the employees look at your business as something they have pride in or are they just looking at it as a rental car?
Your business much like your personal automobile is part of who you are. It is a reflection of the way you treat people and things. Over use them and they can fail. Shine them up by investing and developing in them and they can bring greater value in the future.
Is your business in need of a complete detailing? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 so we can help you inspect your business from the perspective or pride of ownership.