David Steel recently sat down to interview Nick Stein, senior director of salesforce Work.com, to ask him some questions about how to run a great team, improve sales performance, and create a culture of collaboration in any work environment with new social software at work.com.
David: I am often asked how my sales team performs compared to other sales teams. And there seems to be something built into this platform that allows users to look at their own sales teams and compare it to others in the same industry and other industries.
Nick: Absolutely. The great thing about being built into Salesforce is that all those dashboards and the analytics that people are accustomed to seeing can now be connected to things like how you achieve against your set goals. It actually takes the data inside Salesforce and uses it to diagnose where the strengths are and where the opportunities are for improvement. This is not just team-by-team, but the social software makes it easy to see how everybody is doing.
David: Are you seeing a difference among the younger people coming in the workforce today, how they’re adapting to using technology, and how they’re actually performing at the job itself?
Nick: Absolutely. I think the biggest difference, and it’s often a difference that is misperceived, is that the so-called millennial generation just wants a lot more media feedback on how they’re doing. They’ve kind of grown up in a real-time world where they get instantaneous feedback all the time. For a restaurant, you can just go on to Yelp. You can use a fitness app on your phone to track how you’re doing against your fitness goals.
That’s been something we’re really trying to work on: how can we take the best used cases that we see out there in the consumer world and put them in the hands of salespeople to make them more effective? People are very focused on getting better and improving.
David: That’s interesting.
Many years ago we had a huge telemarketing team in an organization I worked with and one of the gentlemen there came up to me and talked to me about his son, who was a navigator for the marines. Every time a navigator landed on an aircraft carrier, they were given a score. They knew exactly how well their landing was and they could compare it to other landings. They knew if they were in jeopardy of losing their ability to land on a carrier because their landings weren’t good, or if they had train more, as well as how they compared with their peers. It creates a type of a competitive situation amongst the pilots.
Do you find that that’s the case in allowing individuals to have insight into their own metrics and to a team’s metric? Is this something where they actually start becoming more competitive amongst themselves?
Nick: One of the biggest misconceptions is that it’s all about badges and points and leader boards which really is like a zero-sum game. For one person to win, other people have to lose. There’s actually some research that came out recently that shows that one of the key ingredients to the highest-performing sales organizations is actually that they have a culture of collaboration rather than pitting one man against another.
And so what we’ve tried to do with our tool is to take advantage of the game dynamic to really foster that collaboration and to do it on one specific way and amplify best behaviors. So, to take your example of the pilots, what if rather than just tracking which pilots landed more effectively, there was actually information as to what the pilots with the highest percentage of great landings did differently? That information could then be shared so that their teammates could learn [how to improve].
Stay tuned for part two of this interview series, where Nick answers more questions about the importance of recognition, not only from managers but also by peers, as well as how motivation can help keep people engaged and performing well in a work environment.