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Think About It… the e-book version » Methodical Relentless Improvement

Archive for the ‘Methodical Relentless Improvement’ Category.

Creative Abrasion and the Sales Knowledge Activist

by Todd Youngblood

I don’t know enough. Not enough about my customers & prospects, or their customers, prospects, suppliers, partners and competitors. I don’t know enough about the objectives, strategies, requirements, problems or people of any of those groups. I don’t even know enough about how my own products and services – either alone or combined with other products and services – can address the issues of my customers and prospects. Eeesssssshhhhh…

(Guess what? You’re in the same boat!)

Hey, I’m not trying to be a jerk here. All of us really do have huge and growing gaps in our knowledge base. And it’s not because we’re too lazy or not smart enough to keep up with the latest developments. The fact of the matter is, everything around us is moving, growing and changing at a relentlessly increasing rate.

One example of this phenomenon is the number of years it took for 25% of the US population to begin using a new technology.

46 years – Electricity
35 years – Telephone
31 years – Radio
26 years – Television
16 years – PC
13 years – Cell Phone
7 years – The Internet

Many other examples of increasingly rapid rates of change abound. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the 41 additional data sets listed here (external link). The point is, if we are to continue to serve our customers effectively, we need to deliver and apply knowledge at a rate faster than they can accomplish on their own.

Successful sales professionals, managers and executives have always known that the standard training provided by their companies was not sufficient to achieve excellence. Back in the olden days (circa 1998) an extra investment of 4 or 5 hours a week reading business books, relevant publications, and newspapers, attending 5 to 10 days worth of seminars per year and talking shop with colleagues in other industries once or twice a week was enough to set yourself apart from the crowd.

Sorry, boys and girls, but that won’t cut it anymore. And let’s face it, what percent of our peer group was expending that much extra effort anyway? 5%? 10%? Hmmmmm… maybe the approach described above was obsolete and insufficient even in the 90s!

What’s needed is a different approach to the creation and dissemination of the knowledge required to sell more efficiently and effectively. Here’s an approach:

  • Formally identify a Sales Knowledge Activist for every 10 or so people in your organization
  • Implement, promote and celebrate a culture of Creative Abrasion

Notice I didn’t say “appoint” a Sales Knowledge Activist. Some individuals have a natural talent and thirst for acquiring new relevant knowledge. Maybe it’s a high-ranking executive or maybe it’s a rookie, or maybe it’s some middle of the pack journeyman performer. You will find it surprisingly easy to “identify” your activists though. Just make it known that you’re looking and they’ll volunteer. Then make it official. Announce it. Promote it. Let it be known that the activists are constantly on the prowl not only for new knowledge, but also for new ways to acquire and use it. Reward them appropriately when it becomes obvious they are valued.

The part sounded easy didn’t it? Look around for a few Sales Knowledge Activists, then sit back and watch the knowledge creation occur! Sorry, it ain’t that easy. That’s where the Creative Abrasion comes in. Everybody must participate. Set that expectation. Provide multiple mechanisms and tools; some that enable and some that force new ideas to scrape and grind against other new ideas as well as the status quo. All the scraping and grinding will kill the bad new ideas and polish up the good ones.

A Sales Excellence Council (external link) is an excellent (in my opinion, mandatory) Creative Abrasion vehicle. Naturally, I’d like for you to use YPS to facilitate your SEC, but feel free to give it a whirl on your own. Follow the link (external link) to learn more, then you make the call.

Web 2.0 tools also provide excellent (in my opinion, mandatory) Creative Abrasion functionality. If you do nothing else, implement an internal sales wiki (external link). One of the editing guidelines for Wikipedia, the world’s largest wiki, illustrates extraordinarily well why I make this recommendation. “If you are not prepared to have your work thoroughly scrutinized, analyzed and criticized, or if your ego is easily damaged, then Wikipedia is probably not the place for you.” That sure sounds like a place where ideas and concepts can get honed and moved toward perfection.

Encourage folks to read and write blogs, produce and listen to podcasts (external link) and actively participate in business-oriented social networks like LinkedIn (external link). These things ought to be called “Creative Abrasion Tools for the Sales Knowledge Activist” instead of Web 2.0! Each one makes you think, challenge, refine and develop your personal knowledge base.
Knowledge really is power. The more you have, the more you sell. How will you keep up?

Think about it…

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It’s always about productivity

by Todd Youngblood

The US lost 2.5 million manufacturing jobs from 1994-2004. Does that mean I should jump out the window? Or is it a cause for celebration?

I really love to throw that job-loss statistic out on the table when talking to folks who sell for or into the manufacturing industry. Virtually every time the response focuses on the negative. Woe is me!!! Our manufacturing base is eroding!!! Cheap Chinese labor is wiping out America’s economy!!!

Makes me want to scream… A negative reaction reflects a fundamental lack of understanding about what drives an economy, any economy. The good news is, it also reflects an opportunity to re-focus attention on THE core concept in crafting a value proposition.

Two and a half million jobs just gone is a bad thing, right? Well, actually, no. China, our alleged nemesis, lost 25 million manufacturing jobs over the same time period. That’s 10 times more! Have you read anything about Chinese manufacturing going into the tank? There’s a critical fact missing here. When did inflation-adjusted U.S. manufacturing output peak? The – perhaps surprising – answer is 2007. That means we’re producing more with less! That’s a tremendously good thing.

Let’s add some context. In 1776, roughly 96% of the jobs in the US were agricultural jobs. In 1870 it was 50%. In 2008 it’s less than 1%. The % of our total GDP from agriculture followed a similar path from 90%+ in colonial days to less than 1% today. At the same time, the total amount of food produced has steadily grown. Over the last 50 years it’s gone up over 3% every year. Did we really want to hang on to those back-breaking, end-your-life-by-40 farming jobs? Or did it make more sense to use intellectual and technological advances to free up human labor and still maintain steady growth in total food output? In other words, did it make sense to produce more with less in agriculture?

Of course it made sense. That’s why we did it. The massive increases in agricultural productivity enabled huge numbers of people to move into better, higher-paying manufacturing jobs. Next, history repeated itself. At the end of World War II, 30% of U.S. jobs were in manufacturing. Today it’s less than 10%. At the same time, total output has risen at a steady 6% annually. Did we really want to hang on to those mind-numbing jobs depicted by Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp in the movie Modern Times? Or did we want to produce more with less?

Guess what’s happening in services? It’s an industry in a fairly early stage of its life-cycle, so the total number of jobs is still increasing. However… Job growth is just over 3% per year, while output is growing at an 8.5% annual rate. History is repeating itself again. The number of services job will inevitably plummet. That’s a good thing. It means that we are still figuring out ways to produce more with less.

What industry will overtake services? I don’t know, but I do know this: Productivity caused the hunter-gatherer jobs to give way to agriculture. Productivity caused the agricultural jobs to give way to manufacturing. Productivity caused the manufacturing jobs to give way to services. Productivity will cause the services jobs to give way to something.

It’s always been about productivity. It always will be about producing more with less. Every sales call, letter, e-mail, plan, thought and value proposition needs to reflect our quest to demonstrate how we can increase our customer’s productivity. Otherwise we’ll just be in the way of progress.

Think about it…

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Are you an expert? (…at anything?)

by Todd Youngblood

Read any trade publication. Surf the net for a sales trainer or consultant. Listen to the radio or TV. We are surrounded by experts. The gurus are everywhere!

According to the 1,100 page compendium of scholarly research The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, it takes at least one and up to five hours of intense, daily, dedicated, deliberate practice and training sustained for 10 years to become an expert.

Read that again; s-l-o-w-l-y this time. Get your brain wrapped around that level of commitment.

And that’s not all they say… Intense practice means – well – intense. Daily practice means every day. That includes weekends. Dedicated practice means exclusive. That includes foregoing all kinds of interesting distractions. Deliberate practice means concentrated on improvement. That means measuring, tracking and dogged pursuit of progress.

That’s still not all they say… It’s not just practice. It’s practice AND training. As the Handbook authors note, “… to improve performance it is necessary to seek out practice activities that allow individuals to work on improving specific aspects, with the help of a teacher and in a protected environment, with opportunities for reflection, exploration of alternatives, and problem solving, as well as repetition with informative feedback.” In other words, not a single one of us is capable of attaining expertise all alone. We need to recruit bosses, mentors and colleagues willing to actively, intelligently, aggressively participate in our quest.

That’s STILL not all they say… Doing your job does NOT count. Experience does NOT equal expertise. Got it? We all know lots and lots of people – athletes, musicians and business people – who have been doing what they do for years, maybe decades, and have yet to achieve “above average” expertise.

This is all hard-numbers-based research. No empty rhetoric. No unsubstantiated claims. No fluffy BS. The “10-year rule,” the practice, the support, the gigantic volume of extra effort are all for real prerequisites.

Keep all of the above in mind the next time some alleged “expert” starts spouting his or her alleged wisdom. Keep all of the above in mind then next time you start spouting your alleged wisdom! I need to get back to work… Need more practice… Need more training…

Think about it…

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The Hawthorne Effect is Alive and Well

by Todd Youngblood

Genuinely good ideas have staying power, right? What if you could find a proven approach to continuous improvement with roots nearly a century old? Would you pursue it?

Back in 1927 the Western Electric executives responsible for managing their “Hawthorne” plant near Chicago agreed to participate in a research study conducted by a Harvard Business School professor. At the time, very little was known about what factors had the greatest effect on industrial productivity, so it seemed like a good idea to set the consultants loose.

Interviews were conducted, environmental factors were changed and a host of labor, management and psychological issues were discussed and examined. Virtually everyone at the plant was involved in some way or another. It must have been quite exciting to have this brilliant group from a hot-shot northeastern university showing such interest in the making of telephone cable!

Anyhow, one of the recommendations was to brighten the place up by turning on more lights. Plant management complied and sure enough production increased. Now here’s where it gets interesting… After a few months and more scholarly attention, the lights were turned back down. What happened to production? It went up again!

The plant guys couldn’t figure out why; the executives couldn’t figure out why. Even the research team was stumped, so they packed up all their data and went home to sort it out and come up with an answer. To make a long story short, they never did successfully uncover any statistical connection between changes made and productivity. (Even after all involved decided to extend the one-year project again and again until they finally wrapped it up five years later.)

So what’s the moral to the story? With 20-20 hindsight and 75 more years study, it’s clear:

  • Bring in credible “out-of-town experts” to…
  • …work closely with those people doing the actual work
  • Set a clear expectation of great success
  • Thoroughly document & analyze everything, both qualitatively and quantitatively
  • Keep at it conscientiously for an extended period of time

Quite simply, this approach generates continuous learning. Is it harder to do with sales people than with factory workers? Well of course it’s harder. The job is less defined and customers keep changing the rules. But so what? If it enables you to learn faster than the customer and the competition, it’s well worth the effort. Got your Sales Excellence Council started yet?

Think about it…

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You can’t afford to let the knowledge leak out!

by Todd Youngblood

The sales rep with superior knowledge is a formidable competitor. That’s why you have a Sales Excellence Council in place. (Right?) And that group is charged with identifying the best and newest sales best practices and tools. (Right?)

The ability to learn faster than your competitors is the only sustainable competitive advantage.” Arie de Geus

I first read this bit of wisdom sometime in the early 90s. Back then, we were just beginning to realize that price, delivery, state-of-the-art product features and after-sale service were simply not good enough any more. The competitive landscape had advanced by then, to the point where even superior knowledge about all those things was not enough to win consistently. We began to realize that we needed to know the customer’s business at least as well as the customer, and more realistically; that we had to anticipate problems and requirements. We needed to be there with a cost justified solution, before the customer even knew there was a problem.

It’s a gross understatement to say that since those pre-internet days, the pace of the business world has picked up just a tad. In response, I do believe that a few top sales reps have in fact gotten quite good at this “learning faster” thing. Problem is, even the eagles are having a tough time of it any more. And the majority of reps are simply not keeping up. A more formal process is essential.

Think in terms of a Sales Excellence Council comprised of 5-9 of your sales leaders responsible for three things:

  • Sales Knowledge Generation – Your top sales personnel are creative, but quite often they are not consciously aware of that fact. They assume everyone else has been and is figuring out and applying new sales processes, best practices and tools on a regular basis. Make these eagles aware that they need to capture every little chunk of sales effectiveness and write it down!
  • Sales Knowledge Sharing – DO NOT underestimate the effectiveness of simply writing things down. Capturing the intelligence is the essential first step. Some of your stars are good writers. Great! Ask them to write a short “tip of month” and then publish and reward them for it. If they’re not great writers, that’s OK too. Have them present at a sales meeting and have somebody else write it down for them. Or just make an audio recording of it, and make that available. Generate a continuous streaming of new knowledge in, around and throughout the sales organization. Make knowledge sharing a habit for everybody.
  • Sales Knowledge Management - This is the “formal” part and you need two IT systems to do it right. First is a “Sales Knowledge Mine” where all of the processes, practices and tools are captured, sorted, indexed and made electronically available to all sales personnel. Take a look at “wiki” technology for this, although just a plain old internal web site will do for starters. The second system is CRM. One that is actively used for contact, account, opportunity and activity management.

Knowledge generation, sharing and management. It’s one of the core responsibilities of the sales leader. Gee, I wonder if customers would appreciate a sales rep that performed a similar function for them…

Think about it…

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The University of Sales

by Todd Youngblood

Is everybody on your sales team as dedicated as you are to continuously augmenting and upgrading personal knowledge and skills? There’s no question that it’s absolutely essential …unless of course all your competitors are lazy and stupid.

Is there such a thing as the University of Sales in your company? If not, and you’re somewhere in between the most junior sales assistant and the 2nd in command of the whole sales organization, you better start thinking very seriously about how on earth you’ll ever pick up the essential sales knowledge and skills you need. If you’re the top sales executive, shame on you!

Do I really need to write a paragraph about how critical it is to make sure that every single member of any sales team needs to be methodically, relentlessly and continuously acquiring new knowledge and enhancing professional selling skills? Frankly, if you need to be convinced of that, don’t bother reading any more of this newsletter.

Operating an internal University of Sales takes some real work, but it’s not really that difficult and doesn’t cost all that much. The “Professors” are the current members of your sales team. Every one of them has a creative solution to at least one problem – probably many. Every one of them has at least one really good success story to tell – probably many. Every one of them has at least one presentation, value proposition, intro letter… – probably many of all of them. They all read sales books and can share the authors’ insights.

Given that, wouldn’t it be a shame to keep all that intelligence hidden from the rest of the group? Most reps – egos not withstanding – don’t realize how much valuable stuff they have in their heads, filing cabinets and hard drives. All they need is some structure to help pull it out, write it down and communicate it.

Here are a few simple steps for operating a U of S:

  • Schedule a 15 to 30 minute slot in every monthly sales meeting for internally delivered sales education (You do have monthly sales meetings or web conferences, right???)
  • Put every member of the sales team into the rotation to develop and deliver their self-developed educational material
  • Set up a “Sales Knowledge Mine” on your internal network to store & deliver all of the handouts (Creating thorough, high quality documentation that is understandable by the rawest rookie is an absolute requirement and MUST be done by each presenter.)
  • Rate the value/quality of each module at least once a year (What was an “A” last year, might be a “C” this year. Keep the material fresh and relevant to match the changes in your marketplace.)

The friendly competition among the reps to have the best module will develop almost immediately. You’ll wind up “stuck” in an organization with a habit of continually thinking, learning and improving.

Think about it…

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Are you clueless, unsure, confident or awesome?

by Todd Youngblood

None of us can know everything about everything. In fact there is so much to know these days, that our level of competence in the wide range of topics we discuss with customers varies all over the place.

Ego creates an urge to always be right, always on top of things, always able to handle a situation well – and right now. Unfortunately, not one of us has all the knowledge required to do so. If we’re not aware of this fact, we are at constant risk of appearing arrogant, ignorant or inept.

On the other hand, conscious awareness of where we stand knowledge-wise and skill-wise relative to each contact at each customer, for each issue under consideration, can lead to bolstering a reputation for humble competence and high value.

Start by considering competence at four levels & appropriate actions for each:

  • Unconscious Incompetence - I don’t know that I don’t know I have no business dealing with this issue. This is a very dangerous place to be. Be vigilant! I need to acknowledge my incompetence, get help to improve and for the most part, simply stay out of the way.
  • Conscious Incompetence – I know that I’m in over my head, and I have begun to remedy the situation. It’s time to say, “Maybe I can be of assistance in a ‘follower’ role, but I’m not prepared (yet) to lead on this one.”
  • Conscious Competence – I’ve seen, understand and have addressed this issue before. If some anomaly pops up, I might need assistance, but I can and will take the lead.
  • Unconscious Competence – The danger here is going un-noticed and un-appreciated. Make sure you highlight the value you provide. “I noticed X last week and took actions A, B & C. It prevented unplanned down time, saved you $$$, …”

It’s also valid to ask the “clueless, unsure, confident or awesome” question about your customers. Where do they stand for the issue at hand? Where do they stand relative to you? If you find yourself in one of the red zones, either get help or make it clear that your company is not focused on solving that sort of problem.
Be particularly careful in the “Blind Leading The Blind” situation. Acknowledge your own incompetence immediately and warn the customer about his/her weakness.

Obviously the green + zones are where you can shine. Further, why not aggressively seek out scenarios that place you in the upper right of the diagram? Simply put, line your strengths up against your customer’s weaknesses. That’s the way to deliver genuine value – value that’s perceived as superior.

You do have a list of your strengths and each customer’s relative weaknesses, right?

Think about it…

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Ancora Imparo

by Todd Youngblood

Not one of us knows all we need to know. Not one of us has enough time to absorb all of the information and knowledge we need. Most of us also have the uncomfortable feeling that our competitors are learning faster than we are. What can we do about that?

First off, we need to adopt Michelangelo’s “Ancora Imparo,” or “I am still learning” attitude. And we need to continue (or perhaps re-start) our habit of reading, attending seminars, seeking out the insights of others, etc. to help fill the knowledge gaps.

In addition, we need to focus on an often neglected aspect of executing a continuous learning strategy; the use of technology to accelerate, simplify and extend the learning process. This leads me ask, “Are you addicted to podcasts yet?”

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to fill in wasted, dead time with a constant flood of high-quality ideas, insights and information? How many empty “windshield hours” are in your week? How many empty hours per month do you throw away walking through airports and sitting on airplanes? How many more empty hours standing in line, waiting for appointments, and the like?

You owe it to yourself to invest the $100 or so in an mp3 player or iPod and the time to find, download and subscribe to podcasts. (You can get away with less money by doing a bit of research, or spend a lot more if you happen to be a gadget geek.) As you would expect, there’s a lot of junk cluttering up the podcast world, but you will be amazed – as I am – at the massive volume of really good intellectual content geared at the selling profession that’s out there for free.

Personally, I like the offerings from Business Week, Harvard Business Review and The Advanced Selling Podcast. The Negotiating Tip of the Week is pretty interesting also. Google for “podcast whatever.” Hunt around at www.podcast.net (external link), www.podcast.com (external link) and the business and iTunes U sections of the iTunes Store to locate content of value to you. (Each of those sites points to options for podcast software. Personally, I like iTunes from Apple.)

To help grow my own business, I needed a deeper understanding of economics. In about 15 minutes, I found The Mises Institute (external link), EconTalk (external link) and The Center for Economic Policy Research (external link). Now my iPod has many hours worth of graduate & under-grad level economics lectures from libertarian, conservative and liberal perspectives. Pick a topic, any topic and anybody can find a similar amount of good stuff.

My podcast addiction started three months ago. On average, I have replaced about twelve hours of dead time per month with self-education. Subtract the monthly hour spent on search and download and that adds 16 1/2 days of additional education for me in 2007. Good for me! More than two whole weeks next year – from nothing – that will make me more valuable to my clients and a more formidable competitor.

How do you plan to improve your knowledge base next year?

Think about it…

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An umbrella and a three-legged stool

by Todd Youngblood

What do you think of this 12-month performance record?

  • 19.6% sales growth
  • Gross Margin up 1.1%
  • Strategic offerings from 11% of total sales to 29.4%

How’d they do that?

According to the COO of this mid-size wholesale distributor, a total-company “accountability mentality” has provided the essential protection from all the issues, problems and daily crises of the past year. “Everybody knows what the really important objectives are, because those are the things we measure,” she says.

Whoa! A statement like that is music to the ears of a believer in Sales Process Engineering or any other continuous improvement methodology. Even better, they measure a lot of stuff – starting with the executive team. Six months ago, at the beginning of their fiscal year, the leaders of this outfit laid out 56 specific goals for themselves. (You read that right, 56!!! And you also noticed the word “themselves” – not goals for the company, goals for themselves.) They identified the goals based on solicited feedback from all employees. They published them, have reviewed them in every monthly, company-wide meeting and are very publicly committed to reaching every one.

This executive-level willingness to be judged by all employees via an extensive, regularly-reviewed-by-all report card has created an enviable level of accountability in their corporate culture. Everybody has their own set of goals. There’s an expectation on the part of everybody, that everybody else will feel as accountable to their own goals as the execs are to theirs.

Has this “Accountability Umbrella” enabled implementation of some challenging initiatives? Or is it just a load of feel-good hooey? How about transforming the business from a product orientation to a strategic services orientation? (See bullet #3 in the headline above.) How about raising the level of responsibility and performance of customer service dramatically enough to cover for a 14% decrease in outside sales headcount and a 20% increase in total sales? How about changing the outside sales compensation plan? (And I’m talking about a BIG-TIME philosophical change in the sales comp plan!)

Speaking of “big, hairy, audacious goals!” Those were the three legs on the stool. All three got implemented successfully. It’s a privately held company, so they were coy about the improvement in net profit after tax. You and I can both look at sales and margin growth though, and make an educated guess.

By the way, half-way through their year the execs have attained 45% of their 56 goals, 20% are partially achieved and the remaining 35% still need a lot of attention and work. Is the “Accountability Mentality” right for your company? Certainly some of it is. Maybe most or even all of it. Given the potential results, it sure makes sense to at least…

Think about it…

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What can a shot-putter from the 1950s teach us about improving selling skills?

by Todd Youngblood

All the really good sales reps I’ve known have invested a lot of energy in constantly improving their skills. The great ones are even more sophisticated. They view their personal talent as just one of three keys to superior achievement.

On May 8, 1954, Parry O’Brien became the first man in history to heave a 16 pound shot more than 60 feet. This was long before the extensive application of physiological and nutritional science; certainly before steroids and other such things. O’Brien did, however, follow one of the most rigorous training regimens known at the time.

He, along with all the other shot-putters, was aware that quickness, coordination to focus all the body’s power into an iron ball and raw physical strength were the essential personal attributes for success in that field. So he worked relentlessly at enhancing those personal skills. Oddly though, he was not the quickest, most graceful or strongest. He used two additional tools.

First, he decided to measure stuff. Stuff beyond just the results produced. He noticed that the top shot putters were all quite tall and realized that a six foot tall athlete (staying within the ring and behind the foul line) could impart energy into the shot through an “acceleration distance” of about ten feet. A six foot six inch tall athlete could do so through ten feet three inches, simply because his arm was that much longer. This “acceleration distance” obviously was an important factor not only for the result (i.e., distance thrown), but also for the shot-putting process.

And that led to his second additional tool – process. Could the shot-putting process be changed to increase acceleration distance, a critical process metric? What would happen if instead of starting out with shoulders parallel to the direction of the throw and hopping across the ring, he made a radical change? What if he started facing directly away from the direction of the throw, glided across the ring, then rotated his upper body around to the “normal” position for the final toss?

What happened was a 15% increase in the acceleration distance; from about 10 up to 11 1/2 feet. Measuring an aspect of the process, then improving it based on that metric enabled him to become the first 60 footer and add 4′ 5″ or 7.5% to the existing world record. He became the best.

Well, best for 3 1/2 years until the taller, faster, stronger guys copied and perfected his improved process.

Today’s shot-putters have continued using process and metrics thinking. O’Brien never thought about the fact that his new process also involved increasing body rotation from 45° to 180°. Others did. Looking at rotation and employing an even more radically different “spin” style (rotating once and half through 540°) increased acceleration distance to over 21 feet. That enabled Randy Barnes to set the current world record of 75 feet 10 1/4 inches. That’s an additional 26% improvement in results over O’Brien’s landmark performance!

Here are the lessons for sales pros:

  • Continue to focus on tool #1 – Your personal skills and capabilities can never be too good.
  • Figure out your process – What are the critical components? What are the sales equivalents to acceleration distance and rotation?
  • Measure – How many, how often, how long, how good for each of those key actions and skills?
  • Change – Modify your selling process to improve execution of the key actions (…and the change might be really radical. Even Parry O’Brien never dreamed of all that spinning around!)
  • Never stop changing and improving – The competition is relentless. (Parry thought he was hot stuff, till he got beaten by a full 15 feet!)

One last insight… Parry O’Brien’s breakthrough came just two days after Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile barrier. I wonder what processes and metrics Roger was using to support and guide his training? I wonder if all the great ones in all fields of endeavor think skills/process/metrics?

Think about it…

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