Is Your Sales Team Adopting EOS?
About one-third of our clients are using EOS as a system to manage their business. Have you never heard of EOS before? It stands for Entrepreneurial Operating System. It’s a management system based on the book Traction by Gino Wickman. It includes a set of simple business tools and proven business processes that align and synchronize all the pieces of your business, to produce the results you want. Sounds great, right? Well, then how come most Sales departments struggle to adopt this method?
According to EOS Worldwide over 80,000 companies use EOS Tools and there are 356 professional EOS Implementers. EOS focuses on the six critical components of every business: vision, people, data, issues, process, and traction. It has documented procedures throughout the company that helps to hold people accountable.
Level 10 meetings
One of EOS’s signature processes is Level 10 meetings, or L10s as most call them. These meetings are the core of EOS and have a rigorous process for solving problems and prioritizing issues. They are efficient, focused, and have helped hundreds of companies make progress towards their strategic objectives. The agenda layout is as follows:
- Check-in – 5 mins
- Scorecard – 5 mins
- Rock updates – these are initiatives that are being implemented – 5 mins
- Client/employee headlines – 5 mins
- To-do list – 5 minutes
- Issues list: identity, discuss, solve (IDS) – a discussion of things that are off track and what to do to get them back on track – 60 mins
- Wrap up – 5 mins
Why EOS Works Well
Everything in the L10 revolves around your company’s goals and addressing the challenges and obstacles that could be causing a blockade. With strict time frames, you and your team are forced to make points short, concise, and clear to get to the meat of the discussion, resolving problems.
Ninety minutes later, you and your team have stayed within the meeting time limit, focused on goals and have dedicated the bulk of the L10 meeting to resolving problems.
There’s a blatant building structure for the meeting. L10s lead to quarterly meetings, which lead to annual meetings. Each meeting builds on the meeting before, with the same strict conflict resolution element.
So Why Doesn’t Sales Like to Adopt the L10?
EOS implementers who are “EOS Supports,” will tell you that you do not deviate from the agenda. But there are a lot of things covered in a sales team meeting, that are not necessarily covered in a L10.
For example, there is limited opportunity to share success (5 minutes for company/employee headlines). Salespeople love talking about their wins, and there’s a lot of recognition and learning to be had from such sharing. It’s an excellent time for a salesperson to share things like “How they got into the account, how they differentiated from the competition, how they were able to overcome a significant objection, etc.
Any sales manager will tell you that giving the salesperson a chance to talk about themselves is rewarding for them and educational for others on the team. They certainly don’t want to limit that to five minutes. Other things included in a good sales team meeting might be training, cross-departmental updates, forecasts, etc. These things may be shoehorned into some traditional L10 categories, but not neatly.
Welcome the Blended L10
Some companies have tried to add to the L10 meetings. The last thing most salespeople want is another meeting. You hear things like, “Do you want me in the field selling, or in another meeting?” Some of that is complaining, but some of it is real. We are big supporters of L10s, but we like to tweak them to kill two birds with one stone.
A blended L10 would include the basic structure of the L10 intermixed with some sales meeting items, and it might look like this:
- Check-in (personal/prof) – 5 mins
- Scorecard – Team performance against goals (on-track/off-track) a little more time here for adjustments/focus as autonomous salespeople need direction – 10 mins
- Rock Review (on-track/off-track) – 5 mins
- Customer/Employee Headlines – more time here for recognition/development – 10 – 20 mins
- To-Do List – 5 minutes
- Issues List– rotating topics. (One week may be forecasting. The next training. The next updates from other departments, etc) -30 mins
- Wrap-up – 5 mins
- Recap To-Dos
- Rating 1-10
Total – 70-90 minutes
Why Is Sales Different Than Other Departments?
Within an organization, salespeople get the freedom to decide who they chase, their level of activity, what to do in order to bring those people through the door, so you as the sales leader NEED more oversight on these people. It would help if you customized certain aspects of the L10 so your team can more easily adapt the process and get more out of it.
It would be hard to cover everything you want in a L10 and everything you want from a sales meeting, combined into one meeting. Likewise, you don’t want to have two meetings each week. So, rotating topics within the blended L10 meeting helps you address both, while not monopolizing the time of the salesperson and keeps the meetings fresh.
To avoid multiple meetings, we like the idea of rotating topics mixed in with the issues list portion of a L10. Below are some topics that you don’t have to hit every week. Rotate them to keep the meeting fresh and to cover critical things that need to be discussed relating to sales.
First, we strongly recommend a section to talk about team wins and success. If someone closes a big deal, let them rave and brag about it. It makes them feel good, and the rest of the team can share in their success. It helps to recognize and reward that salesperson.
Second, you’ll want to consider adding in a section about team performance against goals. You’ll want to go over performance against company goals, forecasts, and pipelines. It doesn’t have to be in-depth, but there is value in reviewing.
Third, let them learn something new. This is where you can bring someone in from a different department and inform your team on what they do, or ask any questions they may have. This gives your team the inside scope to something they may not already know.
If you blend these few things into your L10 meeting, your team will more likely adopt this method easier. The best part of this blended L10 is it doesn’t have to be an additional meeting. It’s just adjusted towards your sales team’s needs.
If you want even more insight on how to run a meeting, check out our blog on “How to Run an Effective Team Meeting.”
In the end
The EOS process works well for most companies and departments. But Sales is a little bit different in its processes and needs more content, more numbers, and more opportunities to adopt the benefits from L10 meetings. If you and your team adopt the blended L10, you’ll save time and be more effective in your day-to-day efforts.