May 4, 2021
by Mike Weinberg
The 1:1 Accountability Meeting – The Single Highest-Impact Sales Management Activity
In the episode Mike shares his foolproof framework for conducting high-impact 1:1 sales manager – salesperson accountability meetings.
This one best practice, when mastered, will transform sales culture and results. And the best part? Sales leaders reduce complacency and radically increase accountability without being a jerk, demotivating, or micromanaging their teams!
Listen as Mike unpacks what he calls “The Sales Management Accountability Progression” – Results then Pipeline then Activity – and models the transformative approach he learned from his sales management mentor.
While it is certainly more trendy today to talk about sales coaching and sales enablement, Mike makes the strong case that this 10 to 15-minute per month 1:1 manager-salesperson accountability meeting is the single highest-payoff sales management activity.
Accountability is not a dirty word and there is nothing wrong, inappropriate, or politically incorrect with holding salespeople accountable for results, pipeline health, opportunity creation and advancement, and when necessary, activity. In fact, when this 1:1 meeting is conducted properly, (good) salespeople love it, and instead of dreading accountability conversations, you will actually look forward to them!
Exciting News: Mike unveils the dates and locations for Supercharge Your Sales Leadership events coming in the second-half of 2021: mikeweinberg.com/events
A few highlights
4:23 – why so few managers “do” accountability well
5:48 – the key: regular, scheduled, formal, 1-on-1 accountability meetings
7:15 – while it’s trendy to talk about the importance of coaching salespeople…
7:54 – and even more trendy to wax eloquently about “sales enablement”
8:53 – there is nothing dirty, wrong, or politically incorrect about managers reviewing results against a salesperson’s goals and the health of the pipeline
10:56 – doing accountability well doesn’t demotivate and discourage salespeople; in fact, the opposite occurs!
11:20 – a salesperson who resists or is demonstrably uncomfortable being held accountable is telling you directly that they’re probably not cut out for sales
12:17 – the story of how Mike’s VP of Sales conducted the 1:1 accountability meeting
13:11 – the three-part foolproof framework: The Sales Management Accountability Progression – Results then Pipeline then Activity
13:43 – publishing sales reports and posting them publicly is a beautiful best practice
15:00 – conducting the accountability 1:1 meeting with a smile (no need for bad words, threats, raised voices, histrionics…this is a factual, data-driven conversation)
18:00 – you can’t change yesterday’s results so don’t dwell on them longer than necessary
18:23 – pivoting from results to the pipeline
18:30 – the pipeline is the lifeblood of the business
18:54 – pipeline accountability is even more critical for a salesperson who missed their sales goal
19:49 – this is your (the manager’s) meeting
20:14 – pipeline health and coverage at the macro level: are there enough deals? are they big enough? likelihood? projected close dates?
22:33 – when the pipeline is poor, then the accountability meeting progresses to salesperson’s least favorite stage: activity
23:10 – “I’m not cool with you failing” and since your results are not there and the pipeline is poor, you’ve left me no choice but to dive into your activity…”
23:57– the brilliance of this progression: no one can accuse you of micromanaging!
24:48 – “if you don’t like me asking about your activity then the fix for that is to increase your results and fill your pipeline and I won’t have to ask about your activity”
25:15 – the meeting is solely about accountability; it’s not for coaching, hearing excuses, letting salespeople (BS) blow smoke!
27:02 – the two best pipeline health/accountability questions that cut through all the noise and leave nowhere for the salesperson to hide
28:47 – imagine if every salesperson asked him/herself this every week and month: what did you add to the pipeline (create)?
31:16 – the wonderful implications from implementing this type of regular 1:1 accountability meeting
32:43 – 100% of the time, underperformers do one of these two beautiful things a few months after implementing this meeting!
35:03 – Mike’s two challenge questions for sales leaders after listening to this episode
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