Editor's Blog

5-Step Success Process

April 14, 2011

“If you don’t care where you end up, any road will do.”

But if you’re trying to run a successful business, I highly recommend you get selective about where you’re trying to end up and which road you choose to get you there.

That is the foundation of my tagline, “Less Stress. More Success.”

Do you know what you really want? If yes, how well have you communicated it with others? Even if you are the one and only person at the company, you need to know where you want to end up and the best road to get you there.

Here’s the 5-Step Process I developed to help me get myself on the right road that gave me the greatest chance to meet and exceed my own goals:

Step 1. Decide what it is you want to improve.

Step 2. Devise the systems, tools and processes to improve it. In devising the systems for improvement, keep in mind that people will always resist change at first. People usually resist change because they don’t want to fail.

Your job is to provide all of the training opportunities and coaching they will need to succeed. Decide why your staff should care by addressing the “WIIFM” (aka What’s In It For Me) factor first; then make sure they know what’s in it for them.

Step 3. Measure performance by giving your staff objective statistics for each behavior and result. In business, we compete against previously established statistics - last week’s numbers, last month’s numbers, last quarter’s numbers and last year’s numbers. The goal of business is to beat the previously established number. Make your measurements visible.

Step 4. Coach each week based on what the measured statistics are showing you. Then, provide training that is a mix of classroom and real-world. Role-playing is the most important type of coaching you can do for each member of your staff.

Step 5. Reward and consequence process is as follows:

  • Here’s what’s expected. Do this and you keep your job. People need to know what marks they’re supposed to be hitting. They want to understand how they can conduct themselves to please you and your customers.

  • Do more and here’s what you get. Stop hunting them down and killing them when they fail without spending more effort on hunting them down to reward them.

  • Do less and you get coached. But if you keep doing less for a specified amount of time, you’re gone. The only way to deliver to the people who are achieving is by not burdening them with the people who are not achieving.

Here’s a real-world example on how I use this process with clients to get better sales results:

Decide. We want to improve the sales performance of “system engineers” - or salespeople. These people sell the big-ticket items at a company. We know that if we improve their conversion rate (how many closed sales per how many sales leads they run) they’ll generate more sales for the company.

Devise. We will begin tracking how many calls are given to each system engineer vs. how many closed sales are made and the total amount of sales dollars they generate.

Measure. We will track the numbers every month for three months and then the system engineers will be competing with the established group average.

Coach. We will do role-plays in the training center to simulate how to approach a potential big-ticket sales call from beginning to end. (Don’t have a training center? Use your own office or home.) Discuss how each lead was run this week.

Reward. We will reward and coach the system engineers based on a three-tier system of measurement:

    1. Hit sales goal - there is a built-in sales commission to augment your salary.
    2. Go above goal - the sales commissions rise dramatically since this is all found money above budgeted goal.
    3. Go below goal - we’ll coach you, but only for so long.

Engage the 5-Step Process for Success at your company. Enjoy the process and reap the rewards.


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