I consider myself very lucky, I have a high performing team. They regularly receive praise from our global partners that they have once again raised the bar; they are an integral and invaluable part of the sales force.
One of the key criteria that ensures the team is able to maintain their performance level is that they are aware of the importance of looking after themselves and each other. We work in a stressful, time pressured environment that can take its toll in different ways on different people. So what are the keys things that we do to make a difference to our well-being?
Stay within the boundaries of our role – I am not a “jobs worth” person but we do need to be careful that we are not the legal, product and pricing expert on a bid. We are part of a multi-national organisation; we must focus on putting together a compelling proposal with one voice, if we spread ourselves too thinly with other activities we will not be able to achieve this.
Matched effort – How hard is the sales lead working to win the bid? If the win themes are lame, the sales lead is not interested in the kick-off or no one is free to review content then why should we burn the midnight oil? We are part of the deal team; let’s make sure we are all in it to win it! In these situations we produce a proposal that is complete and compliant – but not compelling.
Laugh in the face of adversity – it is very important that we don’t alienate the sales person by laughing at the unrealistic deadline, but we do try to keep humour in our team at all times and a tell-tale sign that things are not right is when the humour disappears.
We do not clock watch – we are a global team based in London, we need to flex our day to work with our partners in other locations which means we may start our day at 6am or 11am, we just keep each other informed. If someone has worked late, then we do not expect them to come in early the next day; we need to come to work refreshed.
Don’t get pushed around – we explain the consequences of missing our deadlines, for example we have a cut-off for reviews, if the deadlines keep getting missed we will not complete a full review. We will ensure that the grammar and punctuation are correct only.
Post bid huddles – within our team we review every deal we manage. What worked, what didn’t. Did we try something new, should we change our process, did we get new content, did we like the people we worked with. This can be very therapeutic!
Eat, sleep, work, repeat? – We do our best to eat healthily, to sleep well and to have hobbies outside work. It is not perfect, and we are often juggling too many RFPs to go to the gym / pub / book club every week but we respect each other’s work / life balance and support each other when personal commitments clash with business deadlines.
Celebrate success – a cliché? Possibly, but we love an excuse to celebrate birthdays, weddings, promotions, surviving a tough week, no deadline Fridays, winning business.
So our list may not have anything new or exciting but when put together it creates a great team atmosphere. We enjoy working together and playing together, something I personally believe you should strive for in your working day. Some members of my team, including myself, have worked in less supportive environments and would remind each and every one of you that you deserve better. We can all be exhausted at the end of the week but never unappreciated or unhappy.
This article was written by Alison Gurd.
Alison Gurd is the Global Head of Proposal Management at BNP Paribas Securities Service, she is also the current chair of the Securities Services Mental Health and Well-Being Committee and a trained Mental Health Champion with Time to Change.