For two years, the head coach of my college team has been instilling in his team the principle “Let’s get 1% better every day”. I’m on board. I won’t accept being only as good as I was yesterday. Furthermore, I challenge myself to be 1% better tomorrow than I am today. It’s a personal value statement.

I’m sharing this challenge with my friends, my clients, …anyone who wants to go on a shared journey. Here are some things we’ll be sharing together.

First Lesson: Know where you’re going; what “best” looks like

The best coaches know what playing their sport at the highest level looks like, and can identify the behaviors that improve results. Similarly, a sales performance journey needs a detailed understanding of what performance at a world-class level looks like. I’m lucky to have access to the most robust research base in the sales world, leveraged into benchmarking tools, scores of behavioral metrics, and operational best practices.

Second lesson: Know how to get there

Great coaches teach technique at the highest level; not only do they know the behaviors to teach, they can get players to adopt them. My company has the most comprehensive selection of sales skills and methodologies, the most flexible, most advanced adoption resources, the most integration experience, plus people and coaching to integrate, tailor, and adopt them.

Third Lesson: Break it down.

All of those tired sayings about eating elephants one bite at a time, journeys of a thousand miles, chunking it down, etc. are valid: Children who were assigned 7 math worksheets a day for six days improved their math proficiency — on every measure – more than an equivalent set of kids who were told to complete the same 42 worksheets in the same six days. Same actual goal, different tasking, much different results.

Similarly, if you had to improve by 90% in three months, would you know how to do it? More importantly, would you even try? Now, what if you could improve just 1% every day, how much will you gain after just 90 days?

A great partner can lay out a path for you to follow, and help you implement in a series of reachable steps.

Fourth Lesson: Make it a daily thing

A speaker friend challenges his audiences “Do You Have Five Minutes?”. If you have always wanted to learn/do/accomplish something, he asks if you’ll spend five minutes today (and every day) doing something about it. If you won’t even spend the five minutes, he says to stop even pretending you want it. He’s got a point.

My company, the Miller Heiman Group, has made huge strides helping in this area. Our online learning content is delivered in smaller chunks. For customer service and retail environments, our modules teach a floor manager how to give quick meaningful coaching sessions – chats — in a few minutes; at shift changes, or during a quick breakout.

Fifth Lesson: Don’t confuse being better with doing better.

Behavior and results are connected, but different.  Don’t confuse them, but pay attention to both. Target a behavior that drives results. Measure the behavior you’re trying to change. Confirm that you chose the right behavior by monitoring results, and change as appropriate. Rinse. Repeat. BTW: my company can give you a research-backed projection of likely results your company can expect for different levels of selling behavior.

Sixth Lesson: Lock each 1% in.

We only grow if yesterday’s 1% becomes today’s foundation. If we don’t, each new improvement is a frustrating attempt to re-attain yesterday’s progress.

I recently heard Joseph Grenny talk about leading change. He breaks the sources of influence (the driver of any change) down into an insightful scheme, and claims that successful change leaders address every source of influence, making a plan to optimize each one.

There can be a lot to plan and deal with. Become a student of change management… or work with someone who can walk you through it. I love having the world’s most experienced sales performance company at my back to help my clients.

It’s not just me. It’s you too.

I’m on this journey. I also offer to share it with my clients. My business is to make your journey my journey. I’ll find a way to make your 1% part of my 1%, and we’ll make it. Together.

Care to join me?

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