- November 22, 2019
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
This is not a political article but I will use the impeachment hearings as an example to set the stage for my insights. Currently in the USA there are 3 major schools of thought relative to the impeachment hearings:
Most Democrats and Liberals: “We hate Trump and we want to see him impeached.”
Most Republicans and Conservatives: “We love Trump and hate what they are trying to do to him.”
Most Independents: “They should follow the facts and make an informed decision.”
Suppose that instead of the impeachment hearings we are analyzing a sales opportunity where we substitute “You” (Bob) and “Your Company” (ABC) for Trump, and substitute Your Customer or Prospect for “We”.
You’ll quickly see how one of the same three scenarios plays out for each opportunity.
The Love Scenario: If it’s your customer, you had better hope they’re saying. “We love Bob and ABC and we would never leave.” Perfect. But it could just as easily be your competitor’s (XYZ) existing customer and they love XYZ and would never leave. As with the impeachment hearings, whether they love you or your competitor they will dig in their heels to defend their position.
The Hate Scenario: If it’s your customer and they hate you and ABC they will be leaving you no matter what you do or say. While there may be nothing you can do to stop their departure, there is plenty you can do to prevent scenarios like that. If they are XYZ’s customer and they hate XYZ then they are leaving XYZ no matter what and this becomes your low hanging fruit. You can leverage this growth opportunity when you stop talking about your company and products, and instead learn what your prospect doesn’t like about XYZ and encourage them to spell out all of it. If you take this consultative approach, you will win this business!
If they are truly independent then you’re operating on a level playing field. Your consultative approach will help you differentiate from your competition as long as you take your time, don’t rush through it, and find their compelling reason to do business with you.
If you work as hard as you can to get your customers to love you and your company they’ll dig in their heels to defend you and never leave. Leverage the low hanging fruit to grow your business.
The other insight from the hearings has to do with the ambassadors and diplomats who disagree with Trump’s foreign policy. We learned that the career diplomats serve at the pleasure of the president and are to carry out the president’s foreign policy regardless of whether they agree with it or it’s the proper policy. Agree or disagree as we might, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
We see the exact same thing in sales organizations where sales managers and salespeople are not executing the sales strategy, sales plan and sales process laid out by the executive team. There are always goals, targets, metrics, expectations and timelines. When these fail to be met, it’s either because we’ve chosen the wrong people, haven’t properly set expectations, haven’t provided the proper coaching, or they don’t agree with your “policy.” These can be fairly difficult to decipher, differentiate and fix so a little help from an OMG sales force evaluation can help
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