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Motivation, Focus and Performance


In today’s competitive market, ensuring that staff are performing to their maximum potential is essential to the success of the department and the company overall. But what can be done to ensure that all staff are motivated and strive to achieve their very best? Sales performance trainer Andy Preston looks at how to improve the motivation, focus and performance of staff across all levels.

A fundamental flaw in many in-house teams is the lack of synergy between departments, especially when it comes to the marketing and sales functions, which have for many years been in conflict with each other over the understanding and application of the most appropriate techniques.

The key task for modern managers is to break down the barriers between marketing and selling. By ensuring that their staff are trained to identify the benefits of both marketing and sales related techniques, the department can effectively execute a successful campaign which leverages the maximum impact with the target audience – not only conveying the values and attributes of the brand but actually converting this interest into money.

An increase in the synergy between these functions will ultimately result in better communication, increased sales and the ability to not just reach departmental targets, but more importantly the key targets of the business.

By following these practical pointers, managers can ensure they get the very best from their training programme and most importantly, improve the performance of the team.

1. Recognise the need for departmental synergy
Failure to integrate departmental functions will result in the company getting left behind in an economy where others are working together as a whole. Fresh, dynamic, marketeers are being recruited into an environment where a ‘job for life’ is a thing of the past. Staff naturally gravitate towards ‘winners’ in the market choose to work for a company that provides better training, support, incentives and remuneration.

2. Always start at the top
Any development programme must start with the attitudes of the managers and other key people within the organisation. They must buy into the positive and proactive mindset to take the programme forward and transfer this positivity to their staff. Modern marketeers are dynamic, fluid thinking and flexible and often this is not reflected in the attitudes and practices of more traditional marketing managers.

Managers often fall into thinking “it’s not my responsibility” or “I don’t want to change”. It is employees that shape the vision and success of an organisation and it is far easier to swim with the tide than fight against it if the business is to move forward.

3. Keep the momentum going
Ongoing support is critical to achieving continued personal development, improved individual behaviour and a synchronised organisational culture. One-offs simply don’t work. The right performance targets and reviews are essential to ensure staff reach their full potential Managers and directors must take responsibility for driving the development programme and not leave it to other functions such as HR, who often get lost in processes, procedure and protocol and can sometimes lose sight of the original objectives.

4. Recognise the attributes of top performers
The characteristics of top performers are vitally important in the development of a programme which can then be passed on to other members of the team. Top performers achieve their success through their positive mindset, attitudes and beliefs about the organisation and their determination to shape their roles and responsibilities to focus on achieving success. It is not purely their skill but the willingness to abide by a driven work ethic. Managers must analyse their top performers’ attitudes and behaviour and promote the positive aspects to others.

5. Communicate with your staff from the outset
Getting buy-in from everyone before starting any developmental programme is vital, ensuring first and foremost that all parties involved are informed and their opinions sought. Success lies in the positive reinforcement of mindset, attitudes, behaviour and skills and this can be achieved through a combination of motivational training, personal coaching and an ongoing programme of personal development.

Other techniques such as psychometric testing do have their place but only as an indicator and should never be solely used to determine a person’s capability or potential and never on a sole basis for making business decisions.

6. Ensure the programme is flexible
A successful developmental programme takes account of an individual’s flair, talent and potential regardless of their current position and should be flexible enough to allow for change. Effective programmes are designed to motivate people of all skill levels and it is ultimately the ability of the trainer to adapt the programme to ensure it meets the needs of both the under performers and the top performers. The bare bones of the programme should not change, but elements should be adapted to meet the needs of each individual.

About the author: Andy Preston is director of sales performance training company Outstanding Results.


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