Stop talking about sales: Create a revenue strategy
Stop talking about sales, selling, sales people and how they need to get better, learn to close, improve their prospecting and live up to their quotas with a revenue strategy. In many organizations, the sales people are some of the most skilled people in the organization. They already are good at their jobs.
A lot of them know the difference between talking and listening, asking questions and pitching, setting expectations and hoping for a good outcome. Not only that but a lot actually know the reasons someone would, could and should buy the product or service being sold. Most of the time they know the difference between the buyer, the influencer and the gatekeeper. Many of those that have been selling for more than a few weeks know about the power of language, cadence, attitude and how to challenge.
Almost 100% of the time a few maverick sales people sell almost everything, and the majority (those following policy and process) sell next to nothing. But when you ask them, they will tell you they just had a good call and are sure it will be a deal if they can get the price down.
Why is it we spend a lot of money to train those sales people who follow the policies and process, and very little on training the rest of the organization to support the policies and process?
After engaging with more than 10,000 companies, it is clear almost every company has too many sales people (following policy and process), spends too much training those same sales people who will produce nothing and repeats the process for decades or until they go out of business.
No salesperson can produce more than his organization supports. If the organization’s policies and process limit sales, and mavericks are the top producers who don’t follow policies or process, what is the lesson for an organization that wants to grow?
Are you kidding? The reason mavericks are selling is they avoid what the organization calls support. Great sales people learn early that the competitor they fear is their own company. Becoming a maverick is one way to avoid that competition. Most companies at best inhibit their sales people and at worst cripple or kill them.
So if all this is true, what should organizations be doing? If organizations have too many sales people and are over spending, certainly part of the solution is spend less to get more revenue. Who doesn’t want to do that? Any organization that believes great sales people have great magic and those not-great sales people just don’t have great magic, that’s who.
Forty years ago the world of manufacturing couldn’t manufacture quality at low prices because those people in the factory just didn’t have the magic, but if they did, everything would be great. What manufacturing learned was if everyone in the TOTAL process worked as if their success depended on everyone else in the process, things got easier, faster and cheaper. The whole team came together and asked how may I support you, and pretty quick their world is changed.
So stop talking about sales and sales magic or lack of it. Start talking about an end-to-end revenue process with common metrics and outcomes at the strategic and detail levels to compel great customers. Marketing’s customer is sales, and sale’s customer is delivery, and delivery’s customer is the market of ideal buyers.
Put those groups in a room, create a revenue strategy designed from the customer back with behavioral metrics, and STOP TALKING ABOUT SALES MAGIC.