“How can an executive get her sales team to take their group to the next level for 2016: using Option Solving?”

Fairly recently, this blogger was talking with a sales executive about her team’s intentions for 2016. We’re already into the fall season and so wise companies are giving serious thoughts to their intentions for the next year. This gives them time to include and discuss intentions with their team, so as to draw upon collective wisdom as well as encourage their people to buy-into desirable future objectives and outcomes. Since this transition doesn’t occur overnight, it is usually smart to have a dialog somewhat in advance, to help team members internalize their participation.

Since she was unfamiliar with the concept of option solving , it was prudent to brief her on the approach and related advantages. She would then use our session materials with her sales team as a practical example, as well as preparing her for this important task.  At some point, she was challenged with coming up with the following rational question, What are our best options to take our sales organization to the next level in 2016, considering we achieved 15% growth during 2015, we will introduce a new product in 2016,  we intend to add more business developers next year,  and we intend to increase the level of sales professionalism?” There were several other considerations but the intention was to keep it to around 50% of the entire list. The intention is always not to  over-complicate the picture.

Once her question was ready, she was encouraged to consider appropriate Yin and Yang “bookends”; so as to stimulate her thinking and to set outer extremities on her team’s options. Her bookends were as follows: “Remain growth rate as is,” at one end, with, “Triple in sales” at the other. Our Latest Example indicates why these were unlikely options.

 

She now had the framework for producing at least five plausible options for her team to contemplate utilizing its intuitive capabilities. (Note: We need at least five, so as to sufficiently challenge our creativity by producing a whole range of possibilities.)  One of her options was: “Increase level of new business by 20%; especially with new product  “…  which was her Option A. An option F was left open for her team to come up with any further option (s) that might intrigue its members. You can again view this in our Latest Example. Which one would you consider in the circumstances?

 

Although she clearly had her own preference, she was fully intent on sharing this pictogram with her team and hearing members out before going firm on anything. She was encouraged to utilize some emotional distancing with the team, before they made their final choice. This would allow their collective wisdom to make an optimal choice.

When that choice was made she would now work with the team to come up with appropriate initiatives to bring that choice to reality. She would experience great commitment through involving them, since they would feel fully in the picture as to why the decision was made.

If you have an issue example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.

Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Helping a client to make the best decision?”  We’re always interested in your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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