Performance, Attitude & Development Drive Sales by Alan Dobzinski, Founder, Accountability Experts, Inc

Business development is activities driven. Seems simple. The more emails, calls, and meetings you set equal a higher probability of closing a sale. Although as business leaders today know, there’s more to it than that. To truly measure a successful business development person, we use a rating scale called P.A.D. P is for Performance, A is for Attitude, and D is Development.

P is for Performance. Performance is about the employee. The first question to ask yourself about each of the BD people that you manage is, on a scale from 1 to 10, how well are they performing? The average we hear is a 6. Let's break that down into dollars and cents. If you answer 6 out of 10 then you’re getting $0.60 on every dollar that you spend. If you’re paying them $100,000 a year, $40,000 is being washed down the drain. Maybe you say that seems high, well cut it in half. That’s still $20,000.

A is for Attitude. Attitude is about the employee. Have you ever had a top performer that was less than pleasurable to work with? How would you rate their attitude on a scale from 1 to 10? They complain all the time, create problems, and drag other employees into their drama. Attitude is just as important to your bottom line as performance is. The key is to have a hungry salesperson who needs development over a top performer with a bad attitude.

D is for Development. Development is about you, the leader, asking your employees what you can do for them to help them be successful. Right now, how well are you developing your employees on a scale from 1 to 10? The best way to develop your employees is through regularly-scheduled accountability meetings. More often than not, business leaders fall short on developing their employees and then wonder why their performance is lacking. They tell them what they’re not doing right but don’t ask how they can help. Employees, especially sales people, are thrown out there and expected to succeed. When leaders spend time developing their employees the number on the scale is guaranteed to go up and that’s when you see the results fall straight to your bottom line.

You can’t change someone's attitude but you can ensure success by helping them develop areas that need improvement by asking open-ended questions about how you can help them. An example that comes to mind is an employee who had a great attitude, they came to work energized and ready to go. Although they just couldn’t quite close the number of sales they needed to hit quota. After asking some open-ended questions in a regularly-scheduled accountability meeting, this business leader discovered that they really didn’t understand one of the product lines being offered. Therefore, they didn’t feel comfortable selling it. The solution was simple, and they received some additional training and shadowed another salesperson in a few meetings.

If that business leader hadn’t asked the employee how they can help, they probably would have ended up firing them and hiring another, which inevitably would cycle through the same process and fail. That employee is now a top performer, has a great attitude and is a role model for the rest of the sales team! When you hold your employees accountable for their activities, hire for attitude, and invest time developing them, success is inevitable.