There are no outcomes without activity. But the right outcomes require the right activity.
“More activity” is the answer a weak manager uses when they need better results. It’s easier to demand more activity than it is to determine the real outcome you need, determine the “right and necessary” activity to deliver those outcome, and to ensure that his people have what they need to be effective in generating both the activity and the outcomes.
Lest you think I’ve gone soft, many underperforming salespeople are asked to generate more activity because it is what is necessary to produce greater results. But when the idea of “more” is applied across an entire sales organization, it’s a clue that it is being used a substitute for what is really needed.
- You might need to make more phone calls. But you might also need a campaign of value creation in front of those phone calls to make them more effective.
- You might need more opportunities. But you might also need to better work the opportunities that are already in your pipeline but being haphazardly pursued.
- You might need more leads—or better leads. But you might also need a list of dream clients and a real plan to nurture those relationships to create the real opportunities you need.
- You might need more flexibility when it comes to your price. But you might also need to create a greater level of value and a compelling, differentiated, tailored value proposition.
Sometimes you need more activity. But most of the time what you need is something more complicated, something more difficult to obtain. Strong managers know that some people need to be pushed for “more activity” to achieve their goals, but that most of their team needs greater effectiveness in areas where competencies are more difficult to obtain.
When is more activity the right prescription?
When does getting better results require something more than more activity?
Is more activity always necessary from all salespeople at the same time?
Why is effectiveness more important than activity?