So, it’s official – according to Which? Report banking staff are feeling under increasing pressure to sell, which is encouraging a worrying trend of mis-selling. At the same time, the cultural change that the senior leaders of banks claim to be implementing is clearly not filtering down to frontline staff.
I’ve worked with a number of large organisations in the financial sector and beyond, and have found that it’s down to the ‘sales management’ in the field to create the right environment needed to not only focus the attention of their sales people in the right areas, but also to motivate them to perform even when the conditions are tough and the pressure is high.
As pressure increases, it can have a negative effect on people’s performance as their ability to think clearly is reduced. This can cause people to become more defensive and often respond in less effective or inappropriate ways, ie pursuing poor sales practices that they might not do if they were thinking more clearly!
Sales leaders and managers need to take a long hard look at the support they provide their people and practical ways they can rehabilitate their working practices. They need to be instrumental in rebuilding motivation to establish resilience to perform under pressure.
Surely some effective ongoing training is required to help equip people with the right skills and tools, so that change takes hold and businesses can adapt and grow quickly. Mobile applications, for example, are a perfect way to offer ongoing support, as they can assist people on the ground with practical tools, while out in the field, during their everyday business life.
Which? Report pinpoints the difference between 'good pressure' and 'bad pressure' which often happens if the sales focus is only on the 'result' and not on 'how to deliver the result’, ie the process. It’s not surprising in some ways that this mis-selling trend is happening but it is important that business leaders put a stop to it by re-evaluating how they support their staff on the ground.
Pressure should be directed on quality and consistency of what people do not just the result of what they do!"
About the author
Martin Fairn is founding partner and chief executive officer at Gazing Performance Systems. He has applied his commercial experience and knowledge of how businesses struggle to adapt to pressurised environments, to develop and deliver Gazing’s ‘performance under pressure’ methods and programmes. For further information please see: http://www.gazing.com/