That’s A Wrap! LANDSCAPES 2020 Finishes Final Day Full of Presentations - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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That’s A Wrap! LANDSCAPES 2020 Finishes Final Day Full of Presentations

LANDSCAPES 2020: The Virtual Experience came to a close today, but it was still chocked full of educational sessions for attendees.

Some of the sessions offered throughout the day included Change Incentives to Change Behavior and Using Technology to Streamline Sales.

Change Incentives to Change Behavior

Parke Kallenberg, with ADVANCE Consulting Group, discussed at what incentive plans work and which ones don’t when it comes to changing employee behavior.

Kallenberg covered some of the simple rules for creating effective incentives. He says incentives are only good when they reward behavior that supports the goals of the company, are tied to a specific action or result that is easily defined and are paid out or realized in a short span of time.

Define the specific results your company needs then create an incentive that helps you reach those goals.

“You need to start with the end in mind,” Kallenberg says. “What behavior or result to do you really want to drive towards?”

Changed behavior does not require money as an incentive, but this does not mean money cannot be used to focus behavior. Kallenberg says there are other options. Recognition can go a long way, but you need to know who responds well to certain types of recognition. He says it’s also important to be specific when praising employees, don’t just say “Good job.”

One option is to reward the best crew each week whose actual hours were better than the budgeted hours, by you personally washing their truck.

“There’s something to be said for the boss taking the time to wash their truck,” Kallenberg says. “Do little things. Maybe you leave them a new cooler or maybe you leave them a thank you note explaining how important they are to you. The fact that you take the time to wash their truck or each account manager washes the truck of their best performing crews, that builds a camaraderie. It shows a respect.”

He covered a number of examples of incentives that have worked. One company was dealing with routing issues and nonproductive drive time. In response, they created a sales incentive with a multiplier based on the next closest job. Bonus zones were created for leads and sales in preferred areas.

This resulted in salespeople focused on target areas and 82 percent of new sales came from preferred areas increasing route density and profits.

Kallenberg cautions you must think carefully through offering any incentive program before implementing it. He says the best incentives can be measured. Find out what it costs, what the company gained and if it exceeded your expectations.

“Design incentives that drive the behavior that create the results you want,” Kallenberg says. “Make sure it’s easily measured. Make sure it’s directly tied to the behavior and make sure it’s quickly rewarded.”

Using Technology to Streamline Sales

Alison Blobner with LandOpt hosted the Using Technology to Streamline Sales session. Blobner covered the dos and don’ts of using technology in selling, some sales technology tools and best practices for your sales process.

Blobner says technology should enhance the sales process, but the sales process shouldn’t center around the technology itself.

“Although technology can make your sales reps more productive or effective, it doesn’t replace the need for having that person on your team driving the sales process, building relationships and closing deals,” Blobner says.

She says it can be tempting to automate as much as possible but don’t use it so much you eliminate all your personal contact with the clients. Don’t allow technology to consume you in an effort to create the perfect system.

Instead utilize technology as one of the many tools in your sales process. Use technology to enhance relationships with current customers and prospects as well as improve communication among your team.

It’s important to select the right technology that is available that suits your business. Customer relationship management software, sales intelligence, e-signature and document tracking, marketing automation and video conferencing tools are all forms of technology that can help with the sales process in different ways.

Blobner says you need both a sales process and sales methodology. Your sales process is a roadmap that keeps you on track to your destination while the sales methodology introduces a system of best practices through the stages of your sales process.

The sales process and methodology should be repeatable, results-oriented, measurable, responsive and customer-centered. Then you can select and use the right technology that supports your process.

Sales automation can be used to free up sales reps’ time so they can focus on more revenue-generating tasks. Duties like sales scheduling, lead scoring, reporting and proposals are all functions that can be automated. Tasks such as sales conversations and resolving customer complaints should not be automated.

Utilizing dashboards allow you to track, monitor and improve your sales performance.

“Just like the dashboard in a car, without these data points you don’t know the health of your sales, how quickly you can achieve your goals, or if you need to speed up or slow down your sales process,” Blobner says.

Your dashboard should be unique to your company and your customers’ needs. Some of the metrics to consider tracking include open opportunities, opportunities past due, upsell ratio and your win/loss rate.

“Remember that technology can be a powerful tool in your sales process when used correctly,” Blobner says. “It can help win more sales, improve productivity, and build better relationships. However, when used incorrectly the opposite can occur. Use technology as one of the many tools (not the tool) you have in your sales process.”

At the LANDSCAPES Grand Finale, NALP CEO Britt Wood recognized award winners including:

  • Neil Bales of LandPatterns, 2020 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • Mariani Landscape, 2020 Awards of Excellence Judges Award
  • Claire Goldman of R&R Landscaping, 2020 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • Jon Cundiff of Weed Man Kansas City, 2020 Lifetime Leadership Award

If you missed some of the sessions, don’t forget to take advantage of the 365 Day All-Access Pass, which provides all the LANDSCAPES educational content on demand. If you couldn’t attend LANDSCAPES 2020 this week, you can still register for the All-Access Pass to watch the content for a full year.

Don’t miss the NALP Innovation & Technology Forum on Nov. 18. LANDSCAPES registrants receive an automatic 10 percent off on registration.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.