Set Up a True Accountability Program in 2015

Date PublishedDecember 14, 2014
CompanySandler Training
Article AuthorHamish Knox
Article TypePULSE Interactive Newsletter Dec. 2014
CategoryPULSE Interactive
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HUB SEARCHSandlerTraining
PULSE Interactive

Set Up a True Accountability Program in 2015

There’s no time like the present to start setting up a meaningful accountability plan. As you approach the finish line of 2014, consider the following questions as you make your plans for a truly accountable 2015.

Question One: Is your accountability program excuse-proof?

P7032c492-9343-437f-8f80-bb9ecd1a6a26.jpgut an intelligent animal in a new enclosure, and one of the first things that happens is the animal tests for weaknesses that would allow escape. Put an accountability program in place for your salespeople, and basically the same thing occurs. They test the system by trying to find an exception. They try to create a precedent that suggests this “flavor of the month” will pass.

The testing usually takes the form of “special” situations employees toss your way. Here’s a quick, but not exhaustive, list of special situations I’ve encountered (and you have too).

• Child sick
• Spouse sick
• Parent sick
• Pet sick
• They’re sick
• Client “emergency”
• Need time to “maintain current accounts”
• Don’t know how to use the CRM effectively
• Need admin help
• Not sure how to stick to the program
• Afraid to “do the wrong thing” (analysis Paralysis)
• Don’t have enough leads to meet prospecting targets
• Need a bigger territory
• Need to drop prices to compete

Lest you decide that a meaningful accountability program would be just too draconian to implement, consider the most obvious trait these “special situations” share. Most of them are excuses in disguise. The few that do have some shred of legitimacy (illness, say) will eventually present themselves as excuses after you ask your employee why he or she didn’t reach the targets for the week or month.

accountability programYou will notice, once you implement a real accountability program, that your “A” players, the ones you want to keep on your team, will be right up front when an issue arises in their personal or professional lives. They’ll tell you ahead of time.

Your “B” and “C” players, on the other hand, will deal out these special situations like a Vegas casino worker whenever you shine the light on their lack of performance.

Special situations are best dealt with up front, at the time your accountability program is implemented. Use the list above as a starting point. Set up procedures for specific “emergencies.” Close all the loopholes ahead of time! Then set accountability targets monthly … and manage them weekly.

Question Two: Do you give your team the tools they need?

accountability programProviding your employees with the tools they need to succeed could mean giving written highlights of your program to certain employees who need a little more time to process changes. That way they are comfortable when the full program rolls out. You could also recruit specific “champion” employees to talk up the program and share appropriate resources prior to roll-out.

In addition, providing your team with the proper tools means providing the right administrative support, not necessarily by adding new members to your team, but certainly by giving your people the proper training on how to track their own accountability targets. Quick-reference charts or FAQ documents that help create self-sufficiency in your team are also helpful.

Question Three: Do you stick to the program when it hurts?

accountability programSet strong, clear up-front contracts with your employees … then stick to your accountability program even, and especially, when it hurts. One of our clients had a problem with late arrivals to their weekly meetings. After a coaching session with their Sandler trainer, the manager started locking the door to their conference room at the minute the meeting was booked to start. Within three meetings, late arrivals dropped to zero!

Hamish Knox

Hamish Knox | Executive Business Portrait Session
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Hamish Knox is the author of ‘Accountability the Sandler Way’ and the owner of a Sandler Training Centre in Calgary, Alberta.