Rituals are routines. At one level, a ritual pulls at you, as opposed to things which require discipline or conscious effort. Bank sales leaders have to design positive rituals to drive change.

Without rituals, team members often lose focus and honest attempts to change behavior fizzle.  In the time we have at work, we need to make intelligent decisions about where to spend our energy. The urgent— phone calls, email messages, interruptions of all types—is always going to force bankers into reacting. But particularly when the will is there but the discipline isn’t, new rituals provide a framework in which breakthroughs often take place. Rituals enable us to structure our lives in the face of competing demands.

The best sales rituals have certain common elements:
*They are very specific: “You must turn in your weekly call planner with all the calls you have scheduled for next week by the close of business on Friday.”
*They occur at a scheduled time: “Our weekly sales meetings are on Monday at 8:30 AM.”
*They are widely accepted by all as critical to sales success and become, in essence, non-negotiable: “We review our relationship plans on all of our Key Customers and Key Prospects with our Sales Managers twice a year.”

To change a behavior—eating too many cookies after dinner, something which I can relate to—requires that we substitute another behavior—perhaps drinking a glass of water or eating a piece of fruit when the craving for chocolate chips strikes.

What are some rituals that all Sales Managers should institute? Here are 7 to start with:
1. Holding Monday morning sales meetings
2. Reviewing your team’s pipeline and weekly call planner every Friday to prepare your key message for your weekly sales meeting
3. Establishing quarterly reviews of Key Lists with each banker to review progress on developing relationships with top customers, prospects and COIs
4. Scheduling 1 on 1 time every two weeks to coach each salesperson
5. Riding with team members at least once each quarter to observe their calls
6. Doing pre-call, post-call coaching with one team member each week
7. Holding some form of educational session at least once a quarter for the entire team

Changing habits is hard. Our capacity for self-control is limited. Over time rituals become a source of comfort to individuals, midwifing new behaviors that can become automatic and relatively painless.

Are there any sales leadership rituals that you would add to this list? If so, include them in the comments section below or email them to me at nmiller@mzbierlyconsulting.com