Are You Succeeding? Are You Sure?

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By Jason Brandt (@Jasondmg3)

GlaxoSmithKline has decided to change the way they pay bonuses to their sales representatives, tying the amount of the bonuses to the reps efficacy at customer service, not just the sales figures of the doctors theyre responsible for seeing. (Read more about it here.)

Are you thinking this way too?

“What are you talking about? youre thinking, “I dont have a sales force to motivate – actually, I dont run any kind of customer-facing team at all.

Doesnt matter.

GSK is changing their structure so that they can be seen by their customers less as salespeople and more as educators. They know thats what their clientele really wants. Customers dont want to spend their valuable time being cajoled into using a product; they want to spend that time acquiring useful information that can help them do their own jobs better.

Thats a sentence thats true for all of customers and clients, no matter who or where they are.

Heres an exercise.

Step 1: What are you trying to sell? Write the answer to that question down. Then put a big #2 in front of it.

Step 2: What would help your customers do their jobs better? Make as long of a list as you can. Put a big #1 over it. And then spend all the time that it takes figuring out how you can be responsible for giving them as many of those things as possible.

Youre going to say that you cant do many of those things, that nobody can do many of those things, that many of those things are outside your capabilities, that some of those things are directly counterproductive to your success. But theres one answer for all of those arguments, and it is: fewer than you think.

Step 3: Set up a giant brainstorm with all of your people. Not the kind that youve probably become used to throughout your career. In these sessions, everyone has agreed upon the business goals and objectives, and the goal is to come up ways that you can – lets call a spade a spade – trick or placate or otherwise get people to behave the way you want so that you can meet those objectives.

Never, never have one of those sessions again. Figure out who you want to affect. Then figure out what would make their lives better. Then, and yes this is the hard part, figure out how to do that for them.

Heres an example.

If your end users are patients with diabetes, they want to not have diabetes, you might flippantly say. And you cant magically cure them – of course, no, you cant. But in not wanting to have diabetes, what those patients probably really want is to be able to live like anyone else. And to do that theyd like to be able to understand and predict their disease better. And to do that they could really use a new method of entering in all of their variables and the results, one thats friendly, not time-consuming, not confusing, easily portable, discreet, and effective at combining everything in one place.

So if you sell meters or pumps or strips or insulin – why arent you making yourself the company that gives them that solution, along with your other products to help them manage their disease?

Consider how you can make the decision of whether youre succeeding or failing include more measurement of how much youve improved your customers lives.

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