Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my very special guest (and Front Line Friday co-host), Bridget Gleason.
Bridget likes to finish with the panic before the end of the year. The last two weeks of the year, reps say, “I don’t have anything else to close this quarter.” Bridget says, “So start building up to where you need to be for the next quarter.”
By the end of January, Bridget likes reps to be well on the way to meeting their first quarter goals. As VP of Sales, Bridget needs to have the year’s structure — territories, hiring, ramping — all set, to focus on the year’s success.
Bridget sometimes postpones personnel issues until the new year, to focus on finishing the year well, but, as soon as possible in the year, has that difficult conversation.
Andy says to have those conversations back in October or November — because the problem is evident by then — so you have the team composition in place that you need by January.
In sales, the data identifies there’s something that’s not working. Millennials in particular, would like ongoing feedback. If managers provide feedback often and early, then the final conversation isn’t as difficult, because it’s not a surprise.
Andy wants to see successes in January — milestones, closes, shared successes — to build team confidence. It is crucial to keep the team motivated.
Angela Duckworth’s, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, says great performers are often made by the team, as opposed to great players making the team great. Bridget wants a team that makes people better for being on it.
Andy believes a team gives you more people to hold you accountable, because no one wants to let their teammates down. Everybody wants to contribute.
Bridget ‘feels that in spades,’ about her company, Logz.io. Team accountability applies not only to sales professionals, but to all levels of a company. It’s a mesh.
What has inspired Bridget recently? Angela Duckworth’s book on grit, teaches that intelligence matters, but if others are smarter than we are, we can do a lot to counter that by persistence, and by hard work.
Bridget shares a story of a personal sacrifice made by one of her managers, with quiet determination, to help close out the big year-end deals. Some sacrifices are needed and appreciated, without apparent martyrdom attached.
In the first month, pay attention to what’s going on; get early successes for the team; and deal with problems, regardless of sunk cost, whether personnel, or projects that will never close. Take a hard look at everything.