The Ignorance Factor and Achieving Your Company’s Revenue Goals

I have nearly completed reading The Blind Side, by Michael Lewis. You may have already seen the movie, about Michael Oher, the absolutely huge kid who was simply born to play left end, and protect the quarterback’s blind side.  The kid who now plays for the Baltimore Ravens.

According to Lewis, Michael Oher was ignorant, not dumb, and the Tuohy family and Oher’s tutors spent several hours every night providing him with context and tutoring so that he could become familiar with the things in life that nearly everyone else understood and took for granted.

A dozen or so sales consultants and trainers will spend most of this week with us to become sales development experts. They will be learning how to evaluate sales organizations using our tools, the impact of our findings, and the steps they can take to rectify problems we identify.  In addition, four new clients will each spend about a half day as we review the results of their own sales force evaluations.

What do the 12 sales consultants and trainers and 4 new clients have in common with Michael Oher?

They are ignorant too.  Not about life or business as Oher was, but about sales forces.  The single greatest overall benefit from evaluating the sales force is to replace ignorance with knowledge, insights and understanding about what makes this sales force, or any sales force effective or, in about 95% of the cases, ineffective.  Most ignorant people don’t walk the face of the earth knowing and understanding that they are ignorant.  They don’t know enough to know that this huge gap in understanding exists.  The same is true for most sales consultants, trainers, business owners, Presidents, CEO’s, Sales VP’s and Sales Managers.  They just don’t have any concept of all that they don’t know, about what is under the hood of their, or any other sales force.

Think about the last time someone you know was ill, you heard the name for it and hopped on Google to figure out what it meant. You learned what it was, the symptoms, the severity, how to treat it, what the odds were, how long it could take and what to expect along the way.  The more you read about it, the more you understood something that was always there, but you were simply ignorant over its existence.  So it goes with the sales force.

What don’t you know about your own sales force?  You can’t answer that question because you don’t know what you don’t know.

What do you know about your sales force?  You know only enough to get the results you’re getting today.

What kind of results would you like to get?  The gap, between where you would like to be, and where you are today, is your ignorance factor.  When you erase that ignorance and replace it with insights, knowledge and understanding, you can quickly close the gap and generate the revenue that you’re looking for.