January is named for Janus, the Roman god with two faces. One face looks back and the other looks ahead. It's actually a great idea to take the time every January to conduct that kind of introspection before everything shifts back into high gear. This strategy worked out pretty well for the Romans for about 1,000 years and you have to admit that they were pretty successful at growing their organization.
Stop No. 1 on your introspection tour should be a re-examination of your work-life balance. Get it right and your team will spend 2016 knocking down goals like world champions. Get it wrong and you will be wasting valuable company resources on unproductive distractions. Here's how you're going to make the right decisions.
1. Change Your Metaphor
The first thing that needs an upgrade is the word "balance." This is not about equally dividing your time between work and home. There's no hard distinction between work and home in this mobile world anyway. Instead of the balance metaphor, think of yourself and your team as a rocket ship.
The faster you want to go toward your goal, the more fuel you will need. The more fuel you need, the heavier the rocket. The heavier the rocket, the more fuel you will need to go fast enough. It could make your head spin if you let it, but just slow down and you can figure this out. This is not rocket science, as they say.
In this metaphor, fuel is motivation. The faster you want to achieve quota or hit any other sales benchmark, the more motivation you will need. The more motivation you need, the more physical and mental well-being you are going to need. Social selling training has proven to be one of best sources of motivation for both sales leaders and their teams.
Takeaway: If you spend too much time working without refuelling, you're going to sputter out and drift off course. Fuel up with the right sales motivation and training.
2. Define Success More Broadly
The Global Benefits Attitudes survey found that high stress is deadly for productivity. If you are posting great revenue at the price of enormous stress, something is going to break eventually. Learn to define business success as only one piece of your life. There are some common signs of burnout that you need to be aware of and check yourself regularly. You should have at least one person you really trust to tell you the truth about how you're holding up.
Takeaway: Don't run hot until your fuel burns out. Dial it back so you have the strength to rocket your team's sales out of the atmosphere.
3. Make Space for Better Productivity
Every team has at least one person who grinds away and accomplishes nothing. Make sure that one person isn't you. Craig Cincotta, senior vice president at Porch.com, was king of the 3 a.m. email and proudly displayed his badge of the 20-hour workday. You can probably already hear his wheels spinning. Finally, he figured out that he badly needed to refuel. "I found that I was living a happier, healthier, and more productive life. And my output wasn't comprised."
Takeaway: Your team might not want to bring up what they really need in order to perform more productively. Make it your job to start the conversation. Experiment with new work schedules. Measure the results based on sales effectiveness--not who's in the office after sunset.
The Center for Sales Strategy identified familiarity with new technology and sales education as two of the most critical contributors to sales productivity. Get your new year off to the right start by setting a good example for your team. Refuel in the right way and then launch them in the right direction.