Broadband Communities

MAR-APR 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | 3 1 • Define the right metrics. For sales, what metrics are set? Who is measured? How often are the metrics reviewed? If there is a slump – a "revenue outage" – what happens? Who is notified and how soon? Who is responsible to report sales issues, and to what standards are these reports held? What accountability measures are in place, and how impactful are they? Set sales metrics at every level in the organization. Measure daily, and have the sales managers review them with their teams each morning before the sales floor opens. Simplify to between three and five metrics for summarizing to the C-level, and discuss with the team weekly. It is vital to hold these meetings and to make these meetings pivotal to everyone's calendar. ese meetings come before all other obligations. If there is a "revenue outage" or brownout, require detailed reports. • Hold people accountable. Accountability is just as important for sales as it is for the network. How would you feel if a network outage recurred each month, and the network manager said, "Well, we had some challenges this month, too"? You wouldn't accept this, and neither should you settle for regularly missing sales targets. Require the same standard for sales reports as network outage reports with investigative data that is detailed and timely. Create significant incentives so that people are emotionally invested in whether they meet their goals. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman explains in his book, "inking, Fast and Slow," that people are driven to avoid loss much more acutely than to achieve gain. For example, Tiger Woods would have made $1 million more per season if he had been as driven to putt for a birdie as he was to putt for par. In other words, he performed better when motivated to not lose a point than he did when motivated to gain an extra point. at is why people set easy goals – so they don't risk losing anything of significance. is loss aversion is seen clearly in sales. In the wireless business unit I ran, the sales teams tried withholding 5 percent of pay if goals were not met. is did not provide a sufficient incentive. Almost every sales representative accepted a $100 or so pay cut monthly because taking a small loss was far easier than changing ingrained behavior. Sales organizations that thrive require a very large percentage of pay tied to sales results. Sales goals must be possible to reach, but must require real effort. Loss aversion must kick in to provide sufficient motivation. A leader's role is to challenge people to be their best. Otherwise, a culture that protects subpar behavior can form. As a manager, you are accountable to shareholders, customers and employees. Why shouldn't others be accountable, too? REASSESS AND ADJUST Market conditions will require tweaks to the plan. However, the path to strong, recurring revenue should not be abandoned. Ask of any proposed change, "Will this compromise the plan?" and "Can we maintain our direction and get to our objective?" An analogy that helps me is being in the woods with a map and compass – a sport I love. To get from one point to the next, I have to study the landscape on the map, then plot a compass bearing and walk that bearing consistently. By following the bearing on the map, I know that at 100 meters, there will be a small depression to cross. At 250 meters, a small hill should be on my right. When I get distracted, I drift and end up where nothing is familiar. In these conditions, it is tempting to cast left and right, hoping to blindly bump into the objective. is rarely works. I then have to backtrack to a known point on the map and start again. is wastes tremendous time and energy. In your plan, adjust for the hills and valleys in the market. Expect them. Travel steadily and track progress by milestones, but do not become distracted from your bearing. Following established processes with consistency will result in making your targets, satisfying stakeholders and preserving the best interests of your employees. v Stephen Morris, P.E., is the principal and owner of FoothillsNet, a broadband consulting firm in South Carolina. Contact him at or 803-325-5970.

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