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5 Ways to Reinforce Behaviors that Lead to Success

Jiminny

If you haven’t already heard, we’ve collaborated with the team at What Drives Winning to host an autumn webinar series focused on how you can create the optimal environment for your sales and customer success teams. 

These sessions, hosted by Brett Ledbetter and Becky Burleigh, are designed to provide an in-depth understanding of how to define, manage, and model the best working environment for your team, based on expert coaching methodologies and team leadership psychology.

The first session introduced the concepts of defining, managing, and modeling, and what that means for sales leaders. In case you missed it, you can watch the full recording here and read the summary here.

This week, we’re summing up the second session which focused on managing above-the-line behavior, and what that means for sales leaders.  

You can watch the full recording here.

Managing above the line behavior that leads to winning

According to American football coach, Urban Meyer, “Anything that meets the standards of the program is considered above the line behavior. Anything that doesn’t is considered below-the-line behavior. And the goal is to catch above-the-line behavior and convert below-the-line behavior.”

It’s common to think of managing behavior as dealing with problems but highlighting the desirable above-the-line behavior can make a huge difference. Of course, you can’t focus on the positive 100% of the time. So, it’s important to strike the right balance such as 70/30 where 70% of the time is spent focused on what’s going right.

It takes some effort, but you have to retrain your lens on behavior in the moment, not on the execution or the outcomes.

How do you reinforce behavior in a way that leads to winning?

Brett and Becky shared five strategies to help us start focusing on behaviors that lead to success.

1. Praise the model

It’s impossible to convey all your standards to your team on day one before each member starts. Praising the model is a great way to illustrate what standards of behavior you want by highlighting them as you catch someone doing them. As coach PJ Fleck said, “We don’t teach them what we don’t want. We want to teach them what we do want.

Another way to praise the model is by allowing more experienced reps to be models of what you want so other team members can take their cues from them. When a senior rep is doing something like self-coaching, a rookie might think they should just dive right in without investing the time. Highlighting the desirable behavior helps the rookie start to understand that these are the high-performance norms that will make them successful.

So, take the time to publicly recognize what team members are doing above-the-line behaviors in their day-to-day. It will give them models of success to emulate.

2. Build an identity

Instead of dictating team culture from the top, build it from the bottom up. The team needs to be the ones creating the culture. The more ownership you can give them with the bottom-up approach, the more bought in they will be.

To do this, encourage the team to participate in defining the culture by getting their input on what it should look like. These might include things like being kind, determined, supportive, open, and creative.

Then have them catch each other doing the things that exemplify the chosen values. This can be accomplished during team meetings or by submitting these for a monthly drawing for a small prize—one for the submitting rep and one for the person being praised.

3. Orchestrate peer recognition

As Coach K said, “What a coach says is important, but what a peer says to another is so darn important, especially if that guy who’s the best player says something to another player. It’s such a force multiplier on a team. And it produces a connection because it’s all based on care. It says I care enough about you to help you in that regard.”

Team members expect positive reinforcement from their coach or manager, but it is not expected from peers because they have no motivation to do so. That’s what makes input from a peer so meaningful. When they give positive feedback to another team member, it’s coming from within them and there’s no hidden agenda.

So, encourage team members to support one another in this way. Peer-to-peer coaching is one way to implement this by having them review one another’s call recordings and provide feedback.

4. Encourage behavioral streaks

Changing goals or work habits can help promote positive behaviors. Asking team members what one thing they need to add or subtract from their life to help them grow is a great way to encourage a behavioral streak

This is effective because asking for just one thing doesn’t feel overwhelming. It feels like something that is actually doable and it helps them do a quick audit of what needs to change.

Once the team member starts developing the new habit, they can track how many days they have been practicing the change and build a new behavioral streak.

5. Express appreciation

As a coach, saying something like, ‘You did what you’re supposed to do, why would I praise that? Silence is praise, you’ll hear me when you’re wrong. On to the next thing.’

As a leader, it’s easy to move on to the next deal once one has been closed. But it’s important to stay in the moment and celebrate the wins. Otherwise, you’re losing sight of all that went into that win by acting like all the effort set forth by the team is simply expected.

And this is a problem, as coach Billy Donovan explained, “The minute you start creating a level of expectation or this is supposed to happen, you create an environment of entitlement, and you lose perspective of how hard it actually is.”

So, take time to celebrate wins before moving on to the next.

Looking for additional ways to infuse continuous learning and sales skills growth in your sales reps? Book a demo with a member of our team to see how Jiminny can help you consistently improve your team’s skills and performance.