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Discipline takes you from ‘Good To Great’

What separates the best from the rest? Discipline across your entire business. Let’s find out more.

Although I’m still busy with online training, public speaking and running SalesWorks, I have found more time during the Coronavirus lockdown to read books. That stack of unread books that shames me every time I walk into the room is slowly getting smaller. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading – I love it – I just start a book, and then something comes up, and I never get to finish!

Good To Great

Anyway, one of the books I finally got to read is Good To Great by Jim Collins. I loved it. It really resonated me from a sales point of view, but also because it’s precisely what we need to hear at times like this. 

The book argues that to make a good business something extraordinary, the watchword is discipline – specifically, discipline in three areas:

  • Disciplined people
  • Disciplined thought
  • Disciplined action

Disciplined people is all about getting the right people in the right roles in your business, then setting them on a path towards excellence. 

Discipline of thought is about being honest about the facts, without getting distracted or sidetracked.

Finally, disciplined action is about understanding what really matters and what doesn’t. It’s about knowing what is essential to achieve on your journey to greatness, and what is just window dressing.

Going from Good To Great in sales

You may be wondering how this all relates to sales. Of course, it relates to sales in every way!

Having the right people in the right roles is absolutely essential. Sales is a challenging role; it’s target-driven with high pressure from the start. The people in your sales team need to have the right profile to handle it and thrive. As I talked about in last week’s article, it’s about understanding people’s strengths and playing to them. 

Discipline of thought is all about adherence to the process. The best salespeople plan and structure their day. They look after the little things like keeping their CRM tidy. They build and execute cadences – sequences of actions that move the buyer along their journey to becoming a customer.

Disciplined action is all about creating a culture of discipline in the way you work. Understand how you are going to get to your number. Think about how you leverage other teams, such as customer success, pre-sales and marketing, to get you there. 

Why it matters now

As I mentioned, Good To Great resonated even more with me because of how relevant it is at the moment. 

We’re all locked in our homes. We don’t have our managers monitoring us, or our colleagues to keep us on the right track. It’s easy to get sidetracked, by things that aren’t important or even just the sofa! However, we still have jobs to do, and we need to call on all our reserves of discipline.

The best companies are using this time to improve. They’re not just trying to survive, and they’re certainly not taking their feet off the pedals. We will be out of here one day soon. No one wants to get left behind. Find the discipline to need to succeed.