The world of a business leader and a sales executive often seems to be turning much quicker than that of the normal person. With so many deadlines and responsibilities, taking time to stop and reflect is often seen as an impossible task. The reality is that you need to stop. You need to take time to reflect. Your reflection time will help you plan, and planning will certainly help you to take action. I often hear business leaders and sales professionals mention how they are always moving and taking action, but the real question is whether they are always taking action on the most important tasks for their success?
Like the great coach John Wooden said: “Be quick but don’t hurry”. If you aren’t quick in today’s world, you’re done. If you hurry, things are poorly done or not done at all.
So, at some point you need to stop. How is it possible to stop? Why and what should I stop for? What should I reflect on? I understand it’s not easy. As a business leader and sales professional, you are often managing many aspects of the organization, but if you want to be successful, you need to schedule time every week to Stop-Reflect-Plan and then Take Action. In the beginning, for the ones who have never done this, schedule 15 minutes in your busy calendar. If it does not show in your calendar, there is a high probability you will not do it. It is also very important for these 15 minutes to turn off your cell phone, your tablet, or any device which may compromise your thinking. I always recommend starting with a few minutes every week and then to slowly increase the reflective time to reach at least one hour per week. And for all those daredevils who want to jump right in and schedule one hour per week…, don’t do it! Remember the wise words from John Wooden: ‘’Be quick but don’t hurry’’.
To guide you with your topics during your reflective time, here are three important areas that a business leader, and a sales professional, need to stop and reflect on:
- Business acumen
- Sales proficiency and sales process.
We all know that the success or downfall of our organization is directly linked to its leadership, so here are some questions you should reflect on:
- What would have to happen, 12 months from now, for us to be happy with our success or progress?
- What am I doing to invest in my personal leadership growth and the growth of my employees?
Is our vision clear? (Does everyone know where we are going, why we exist and what principles guide our decisions and actions?)
- How do others perceive me as a leader?
Business acumen is also very important. Understanding how your company makes money is critical to effective strategy execution. Evaluating your product offering and the service you provide need to be considered regularly. Here are some questions you should reflect on:
- If we were our competitors, how would we try to beat us?
- What is the most important business strategy we need to address this year?
- What are the biggest challenges we are seeing in our industry?
- Are our budgets and objectives being met?
As the leader and sales professional of your organization, you are certainly selling something, so having an optimal sales process is key to your growth. Here are some questions to reflect on:
- Is our selling process clear and utilized by the entire sales team?
- Which areas of the selling process need to be addressed with our sales team?
- Do we have a formal and clear feedback model to hold people accountable?
- Is our customer relationship management (CRM) tool utilized effectively?
Spending time considering these questions is essential. Once you have identified which areas need to be addressed, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- How important is it to our organization and team to address this issue or issues?
- What knowledge or tools do we need to address this or these issues?
- How quickly do we need to address this or these issues?
We often find ourselves in a situation where we don’t know who to contact for help. If you find yourself struggling to find someone or a firm that might help you, contact us. At L2L coaching our strategic partners team will certainly be able to help and guide you.