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How to Use Microresolutions to Improve Sales Performance

How to Use Microresolutions to Improve Sales Performance

When managers roll out major changes it can be a shock to everyone who has to comply with new rules. When handled incorrectly, disruptions can cause resentment and resistance that counteract productivity, and most companies can’t afford to waste that kind of time.

While certain things can’t be helped (e.g. new company software, new compliance laws, etc.), there are reasons you might want to take a different approach if it’s necessary to change employee behavior.

Sales employees can benefit from small, well-defined resolutions as a means of strengthening performance and company revenue rather than blanket procedural changes.

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What is a microresolution?

A microresolution is an achievable behavior change that employees can use to improve their day. It needs to be a clear goal, so generic calls for improvement will not do.

For example, let’s say an employee is having trouble making a strong first impression on their prospects. Considering that sales today is largely driven by the ability to teach the client about their own business, it might be a worthwhile resolution for the employee to start working on how to impart their best suggestions and tools as quickly and naturally as possible right at the start of a conversation. Or since people have more energy and resolve in the morning, it may make sense to have your reps tackle their hardest tasks before 11 a.m.

Inspiring employees

The amazing thing about these microresolutions is that they can and do apply to everyone. No one is above making better decisions in their day, and this is an excellent way to inspire employees to feel a resolved sense of purpose when they confront their daily tasks.

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Whether a person needs help in documenting their activities or they need assistance with executing a specific sales tactic, encouraging everyone to make one small resolution can be the start of some drastic changes in the office. So let’s say that a person takes care of their most hated task at 10 a.m. in the morning, they may feel so accomplished that they start doing more in the afternoon as well which ultimately leads to better-serviced accounts. The point of this exercise is to focus an employee’s attention on something they can do rather than bemoan the fact that the company is failing to hit a certain level of achievement.

Camaraderie

Just because a microresolution is easily definable, doesn’t mean that it will be easy to adjust to. It will take some experimentation to fully adapt the change into a day, but this experimentation is excellent for generating discussion and a sense of camaraderie.

With everyone working together to fix one of their shortcomings, it can help employees feel connected to one another for better teamwork and understanding. The key here will be to have everyone on board with completing this task and depending on the type of office environment, it may make sense to track that progress in a public way. This way, people can draw strength and advice from each other rather than feel like they are the only one who is struggling.

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Changes and adjustments

Let employees know that resolutions can grow into more ambitious goals, but only after the original resolution has been thoroughly mastered. This is why it’s so important for salespeople to set realistic goals. It’s also why reps should only work on one resolution at a time.

Someone who wants to get their numbers up by 70% may be setting themselves up for failure, while a field salesman who aims for a 10% revenue increase can always adjust their target after they’ve met their goal consistently over consecutive months. While change can sometimes be slow, the sense of pride and achievement an employee feels after hitting a personal goal is meant to be a jumping-off point for continued growth within the company. If you’re a sales manager, then you may want to suggest individual goals that you feel will be best to improve your reps’ performance.

The impact on sales

The more involved an employee is in their overall progress, the better their relationships and confidence will be with clients when making sales. By allowing a salesperson to see marked success in their days in one aspect, the comfort level they feel in their job should also rise.

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Every sales team is different, but there is no one who is immune to the pleasures of doing their job more effectively. If possible, implementing this type of program in a company should apply to everyone: senior executives, managers, and everyone in between. While it may take some time, using microresolutions on a consistent basis should lead to a lasting, positive impact on sales performance.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

Reference

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