The PIP aka the “Performance Improvement Plan” has to be one of the worst sales performance management tools our industry has ever created. This is why and how implementing PIP 2.0 will be more effective.
Humans have a highly evolved social protection system. This system helped our ancestors survive and reproduce effectively by being part of a tribe.
When we feel pushed to the edge of our “tribe” – like when we’re handed a PIP – we perceive this as DANGER.
Fear kicks our body into Fight or Flight and we experience all sorts of unwanted effects that don’t help us sell effectively. Most of the time our Sales Anxiety Monster gets worse and a PIP can potentially result in a panic attack as it did early on in my sales career.
To make things worse – there is a lot we CANNOT control within sales that can affect the outcome of our effort. There are global pandemics, company reorganizations or experiencing an unexpected death in our family. All of these events that can seriously impact how effective we are at selling.
Especially since sales organizations rarely provide their teams with resilience, EQ and Mental Health training to help them manage stress in sales effectively.
It’s like we’re telling a basketball player or athlete:
“I don’t care what happens – Go score 25 points in the game tomorrow or you’re getting traded.”
Not going to work.
What should we do instead?
Sales Performance Management 2.0: The “PRACTICE” Improvement Plan
The best athletes and salespeople know that when their performance has declined, the best thing they can do is practice. If LeBron James has a bad game or a corporate sales athlete has a bad month…
What do they do?
They get more shots up, they make more calls, they practice their pitch, they ask new questions…
They invest more EFFORT into the things they CAN control. When done consistently – they know this is the best way to achieve better performance outcomes over time. It’s a process that becomes easy to trust because the effort they invest is predictable.
Sometimes it just takes time for their effort to pay-off in desired outcomes like closing more deals.
Framing it as practice also helps keep the focus on learning and growth as the motivator rather than fear. As a sales leader this will make sales performance management much easier and more effective.
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About The Author
Jeff Riseley is currently the Founder of the Sales Health Alliance and Mental Health Advocate. With over a decade of sales experience – Jeff understands the importance of Mental Health in achieving peak sales performance.
Jeff combines his sales (Sales Knowledge Institute) and Mental Health expertise to improve sales performance through a mix of sales mentorship and mental health best practices. His strategies have helped sales teams improve their sales process, while helping them become more motivated, resilient and better equipped to tackle stressful events within sales.
He is currently delivering these strategies through on-site workshops, coaching and speaking engagements. To explore working with Jeff contact him at [email protected]