Imagine keeping your sales force—each and every individual—motivated and performing at peak performance. Sound too good to be true?
According to Theresa Gale and Mary Anne Wampler, authors of WAKE UP AND SELL, and founders of Transform, Inc., a specialized training and consulting firm based in Laurel, Maryland, this fantasy can become reality—right now. They firmly believe that understanding how each of your sales people ‘view’ and experience selling, what motivates them toward peak performance, and how you, as sales manager, can tap into this knowledge is your starting point for success.
“We know from experience that all sales people don’t see selling situations the same,” explains Mary Anne Wampler, who spent more than 20 years in the business development field before teaming up with her Transform co-founder, Theresa Gale, in 1994. “What motivates one person may not even begin to entice another. That old-fashioned notion that money is the only motivator for sales people just simply isn’t true.”
So what is true? Wampler and Gale maintain that each of your sales people has a particular ‘lens’ or way of interpreting the world in which they live. Through their lens, they interpret situations, events, encounters, and experiences. One sales rep may see everything as an opportunity, yet not have the ability to sustain focus on actually landing accounts. Another’s talent may come from establishing relationships—sometimes even at the expense of asking for business.
“The difference is in how the sales person ‘views’ the situation,” Gale states. “We all know that how we view the world impacts the way we respond to situations and people. Well, it also impacts a sales person’s success in sales—and leadership’s success in coaching and managing the sales team effectively.”
To understand the ‘lens’ each sales person operates from, Transform uses a powerful and dynamic personality system called the Enneagram, which describes nine distinct patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. Unlike the Myers-Briggs, The Big Five, and other personality systems on the market today, the Enneagram takes companies one step further—to reveal the motivation behind behavior.
“The Enneagram is tremendously effective in helping us understand why we do what we do,” Wampler explains. “It’s a powerful, cutting-edge tool, especially where sales are concerned,” Wampler states. “Time and again, we’ve seen the Enneagram transform the way the sales team interacts and works together—and we’ve seen dramatic improvements in companies’ bottom-line results.”
The Enneagram’s nine-pointed model (see attached) helps you discover core motivations of your sales people, where they habitually focus their attention, and what their personal hidden agendas are. It also helps you identify your own—as well as your organization’s—unconscious beliefs that can support or sabotage the potential for growth and unprecedented success.
Using the Enneagram helps sales managers, and sales people themselves, understand the following:
- What motivates each sales person on the team
- How to train and develop sales people
- What stands in the way of a sales person’s success
- What supports or hinders a sales person’s performance
- What strategies to use when coaching a sales person
- How to be efficient in your sessions or in the field with your sales people
- How to get buy-in for change initiatives, even when it includes doing paperwork
Both Gale and Wampler enjoy their role in helping individuals and companies along the Enneagram’s road to discovery. “Without exception, people are amazed at what they learn—about themselves and about their colleagues,” Gale explains. “The Enneagram shatters our individual perceptions of other’s intentions and reasons for acting because we’re able to see how others view an experience that we may have always interpreted quite differently,” she continues. “Once we open our minds to other points of view, we can communicate and interact more effectively with others. We can also examine our own individual barriers to success and work toward achieving our full potential, personally and professionally.”
Transform’s holistic, systems-based approach to understanding sales and organizations as a whole has earned the respect of companies nationwide—from family-owned businesses to ‘green’ and environmental organizations to chambers of commerce and non-profit associations.
Regardless of the industry, Wampler and Gale encourage their clients to embrace change and growth as a way of life. “We want leadership to see their company as a truly fascinating system, made up of all these interrelated and interdependent parts that are continually in flux,” Wampler states. “And we want them to know that’s okay.”
Marlene England is a freelance writer based in Frederick, Maryland.
Transform, Inc. was founded Transform, Inc. in 1994 by Theresa Gale and Mary Anne Wampler authors of the book, WAKE UP AND SELL! The company offers a wide spectrum of services, including leadership mastery, sales and client development, organizational effectiveness consulting, senior-level executive coaching, and corporate retreats. For more information, visit www.transforminc.com or call 301-419-2835301-419-2835.
Selling Success and the Enneagram
See if you can find yourself in one of these descriptions?
Motivated to achieve perfection, efficiency, and effectiveness in everything they do. In sales, believes they know what is right and strive to do the right thing for their prospects, clients, and the organization. Attention to doing things the ‘right’ way may be perceived as forcing ‘their’ way onto prospects/clients, not listening to what the prospect/client really wants, and spending too much time on details rather than closing the deal and working out the details.
Motivated to be accepted and liked by others. In sales, focuses on building and developing relationships and connections to those who can help them achieve results. Over-attention on relationships can get in the way of doing and closing business, having real or tough conversations, talking about money, being clear on what the company can provide, and negotiating. This Style works best when the emphasis is on servicing existing accounts rather than constantly prospecting for new ones.
Motivated by results, getting things done, and being recognized for what they do. Attention on results is desirous. However, in sales the prospect/client or internal customers may feel ignored, rushed, not listened to, or in the way of this Style’s getting the results they want. This Style likes to get new accounts and enjoys the challenges and winning when closing a sale. Best to have a skilled service rep partnered to take over after the sale.
Motivated by doing unique, creative work and wanting deep, meaningful relationships with prospects/clients. Attention to doing unique work gets in the way of performing routine sales tasks and behaviors that results in sales success. Feelings and emotions may get in the way of consistent performance. Selling to a few accounts doing work that makes a difference is where this Style can be most successful.
Motivated by protecting their privacy; being self-sufficient, and being knowledgeable about what they sell, this Style believes that buyers must have all the facts to make a decision to buy. This leads to information overload, ‘telling’ rather than selling, and a dislike for personal interactions and rapport building, which is critical to sales success. Handling accounts that require a lot of technical expertise is the best selling environment for this Style.
Motivated by minimizing or avoiding danger at all costs. In sales, this Style is astute at uncovering prospect’s reasons for buying yet may engage in a ‘start-stop’ pattern when in doubt about their own or the company’s abilities to deliver for the prospect/client. Attention to ‘worst-case scenarios’ and doubt leads to an effective questioning style yet may become too much if overused. This Style does best when dealing with people they know and prefers referrals to cold calling.
Motivated by the need to keep their options open, this Style in sales is extremely effective in making contacts, dealing with the ‘big’ picture, and working with decision-makers in high levels of authority. They tend to get bored and may ‘check out’ if the sale doesn’t move along quickly and struggle when prospect/client needs a lot of hand holding or comes across as negative. This Style likes to be a heavy hitter yet isn’t suited for servicing and maintaining accounts.
Motivated by the need to not be controlled, by controlling the environment and others. This Style in sales appears confident, self-assured, and in control. They are skilled at identifying who the decision makers are and are very comfortable dealing with power and going ‘toe-to-toe’ with authority. Attention to controlling the selling situation leads to a ‘telling, often dictatorial’ style that suits some and turns off others. This Style has ‘big’ energy and thrives in selling situations where the prospect/client is perceived as straight-up with them and doesn’t play games.
Motivated by keeping the peace, achieving harmony, and avoiding conflict. This Style is excellent at creating rapport and making people comfortable and feeling heard, yet struggles to be direct, ask ‘tough’ questions, talk about money or any activity that might create conflict or upset the prospect/client. When conflict is anticipated, may avoid situation or interaction causing sales activity and results to be inconsistent. This Style works best with people they know and thrives when the products and services as well as the sales process are clearly defined.
Originally published on March 03, 2014 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau