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Manage Behaviors, ...

Manage Behaviors, Not Results

By Star Report 2 min read

By Oren Jacobson, Market Analyst - New Home Star

How much control does an individual have over their sales results? The answer, believe it or not, is none. Don't agree with me? Let's look at this from the other side. Can anyone MAKE you buy something? Have you ever made a major purchase and felt like you were pushed into it with no way out? Hopefully, the answer is no. As the buyer, you have full control over your decision.


So, if we agree that a person can't be forced to buy, then we must also acknowledge the reverse to be true. No sales professional has control over whether someone actually purchases. Yet, managers and operators obsess over each professional's sales performance against goal. It's literally the single most emphasized data point in the industry. We focus on, "How many homes did you sell this month/quarter/year?"


Managing results is a losing formula. Rather, we need to focus on managing behaviors. We should hold people accountable for their behaviors and not their results. Why? Their behaviors determine their results. Their input determines their output.


Think of it this way: If you own a plant that manufactures widgets, and you have a bunch of defective widgets, what are you going to do? Go to the end of the assembly line and ask what happened? Ask your workers what they will do differently next month to produce better widgets? Or, are you going to inspect each step of the process to find where the defect happened and fix it?


Managing sales should be no different. Successful salespeople can influence results but they cannot control them. That influence is based on a series of right inputs - our strategy and approach to our customers - and dependent on how well (and how consistently) a sales professional executes the right behaviors (our process before, during and after a visit). 


It's not enough to look at end-of-month results and ask someone what they will do better next month. Want to improve results? Inspect the behaviors that lead to success. Want to change your output? Change your input. Manage behaviors. Prioritize behaviors. Develop behaviors. Hold people accountable to behaviors. Only then can you watch results change.


Oren Jacobson holds an MBA with an emphasis in strategic management and is currently working on receiving his master's degree in economics and policy analysis at DePaul University in Chicago. As the lead strategic marketing analyst for New Home Star, Jacobson specializes in helping builders maximize their asset positioning through market segmentation, consumer alignment and data analysis. He also leads the NHS team in the creation of training tools and resources to develop and enhance their expertise in sales.

Originally published Oct 26, 2016 under Explore the latest topics, updated March 15, 2024

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