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Unleashing the Power of Brain Science in Driving B2B Seller Accountability

At its core, accountability is about taking responsibility for one's actions and outcomes. In the brain, this concept is closely tied to executive functions, such as goal setting, planning, and self-regulation, all of which are governed by the prefrontal cortex (the area of your brain that's directly behind your forehead). When sellers feel a sense of ownership over their goals and are held accountable for achieving them, this part of the brain lights up with activity, driving them to stay focused and committed. Yet, driving seller accountability consistently is a major challenge experienced by many sales leaders and managers. In this blog, we will review a few brain-based strategies to help you overcome this challenge.

1. Clarify Expectations

One common pitfall is the absence of clear, specific expectations. When goals are ambiguous or constantly changing, sellers may feel uncertain about what is expected of them, leading to a lack of accountability or a sense of loss of control, which can trigger threat responses in the brain. When goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART), they activate the brain's reward system, triggering the release of dopamine—a neurotransmitter associated with motivation and goal-directed behavior. Instead of saying things like, "I need you to go close that deal", focus on a specific behavior or an action you'd like the seller to engage in to advance the deal or to elicit a response from the buyer.

2. Drive Consistent Feedback and Monitoring

Consistency is key when it comes to monitoring sellers' performance and providing feedback. Some sales leaders and managers may only intervene when problems arise, neglecting ongoing performance monitoring and regular constructive feedback. Without regular feedback loops, sellers may not fully understand where they stand or how to improve, thus diminishing their sense of autonomy or empowerment and ultimately their accountability.

Additionally, constructive feedback activates the brain's error detection system, prompting sellers to course-correct and improve performance on their own.

3. Build the Contrast to Add Awareness

When sellers can visualize the gap between their current state and the desired state of excellence, it can serve as a powerful motivator for improvement. It creates a sense of aspiration and a clear target to strive towards, driving intrinsic motivation. Moreover, enabling sellers to self-reflect on the contrast between their current actions and exemplary performance fosters self-awareness. Sellers who are empowered to assess their strengths and weaknesses objectively often times create self-improvement strategies that they feel a sense of ownership and autonomy towards, all of which adds to accountability. In conclusion, to drive accountability among our sellers, we as leaders need to focus on clear communication, empowerment, coaching, and collaboration. Communications that provide specific guidance, foster a sense of autonomy, and encourage problem-solving are more likely to drive positive outcomes and long-term success for both sellers and the organization. Not sure where to go from here? Schedule your BrainSells advisory call today.


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