giovedì 9 luglio 2015

The Feedback Culture

Working for many successful Market leaders I understood the deep importance of asking for Feedback.
The Feedback request is a way to communicate sharing our point of view regarding a possible action to take, based on a defined strategy. Doing a wrong step can compromise final results we want to achieve. Feedback is a pillar in the B2B Selling Cycle, many can consider this common subject, but not all the people understand the Power of Feedback.

Company Culture
A Company Culture is based on a shared Problem Solving Approach. There are many tools that can contribute to create a Company Culture; one of it is the right use of Feedback. In Feedback times, someone propose is point of view to someone else, sharing the risk to take an action. In Sales Process, Feedback shows a great Sales Management Vision. The Sales Process in B2B has to be clear and shared with all the Company actors, avoiding misunderstanding and passive resistance. Requesting a Feedback is a key to create a Common View, and approval, of the Selling Process. If you do not share your Point of View today, you cannot speak tomorrow. Times when Sales leaders were defining a Sales Process alone, without include colleagues to “play the Company”, are finished. Sales Process has to be shared, have to be clear and approved by all the colleagues that will be included in the process at certain time. Asking for Feedback during the Selling Process, for example, is a way to have and collect confirmation about next step, taking care about possible news and pressures coming from outside, from inside, and coming eventually by Customer changes. Asking for Feedback in a Selling Cycle is Vital in particular for long Selling Process Solutions.

No Feedback
Sometimes colleagues do not provide Feedback. Or they are late providing Feedback. If someone asks for your Feedback, and you cannot do it because busy, you have to reply something like: “ I am busy now, can I come back to you in a couple of hours?” Simply doing this, your colleague can manage the business need considering the two hours you promise; then obviously, you have to maintain the promise!!
But why people do not provide Feedback? Some example: One reply to me “I did not provide Feedback because the subject was so banal for me”… another one replied, “I can provide Feedback end of the day”, but he did not.
In a Professional Sales Process it is mandatory to provide Feedback, honestly and in time. If people do not do it, there are many different reasons, for example:
  • I do not understand why you asking Feedback to me,
  • I do not know how to reply,
  • I am busy, and my business is much more important of your,
  • I do not care about you,
  • I am more important of you,
  • I do not want to help you because I do not want you to be successful.
That kind of approach (do not provide Feedback), mean only that this guy do not care about the Company, he care only about himself.

Feedback Request and Leadership
It is a Feedback needs a lack of Leadership? No “au contraire mon ami” (on the contrary my friend). Feedback need mean that you accept suggestions from your colleagues, not because you do not know what to do, but because you understand that who receives your Feedback request can contribute to your Selling Cycle with valuable suggestions. All that is to better serve the Customer. Customer is not your own property, but is “property” of the Company you represent, so including some of your well-defined colleagues in the Selling Process, asking for Feedback, is a way to show your Leadership. I am scared about people that generally do not ask for Feedback.
People Feedback adverse, probably have low Leadership. This kind of people believe they are “the only one” that can find the best solution, in the Company, so do not need to ask for Feedback.
Contrary, asking “always” for Feedback can mean that you have no clear the next step. In this case, before to say you are not good enough, Top Management have to be sure that the Company Strategy is clear, well defined and shared at all level.

Asking Feedback to the Customer
Feedback is one of the best tools to use, sharing common target with your Customer during the Selling Process. Also asking the “obvious” can be important to avoid misunderstanding in the future. Feedback request is important also to show to the Customer the “transparency” of your approach; I mean showing that your first target is to have an happy and successful Customer, and that you want to build and open a long term relationship with him. Feedback request, in the Selling Process is the moment when the Selling Process and the Buying Process match!! So this is a pivotal moment that cannot be missed by a Professional Sales Manager. When you receive an “OK” to your Feedback request, this mean the Customer accept to go to the next step. If you receive a “NO” to your question you can loop back and fix the failure. If the Customer does not provide any kind of Feedback you are in trouble, freeze without any opportunity to proceed.

Asking for Feedback show Leadership, Business Maturity and a Professional Approach. People with no sense of urgency in providing Feedback have to improve their Company Culture and the way to be more collaborative to gain Leadership. Success is based on Teamwork, Communication creates Collaboration, so Feedback is the Key to open the Collaboration door and reach the final Success.