By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company
This article is a continuation of the “It Is What It Is” (IIWII) series. Read the original article from last week here.
My last blog article discussed the frustration senior executives with the tenuous control they have over their sales organizations. Many tolerate what sales gives them because they have thrown up their hands and drawn the conclusion: “It is what it is.” CRM and other sales technologies haven’t provided gains in sales productivity.
In order to begin to address sales issues, there are several organizational decisions to be reconsiders or made. In a 50-year old manufacturing facility that had been expanded several times over the years, it would be an amazing coincidence if the workflow on the shop floor was optimal when compared to current best practices. If you were designing the layout today, you would very likely make significant changes that could improve workflow and efficiency.
In taking a hard look at the silos that involved in getting offerings developed, promoted, sold and installed there are probably changes that are needed to optimize the process. These decisions would reflect not only the changes in your company’s marketplace and competitive position, but also the changes in the way buyers evaluate vendors and offerings today. It might be a good idea to realize that the majority of opportunities that enter your pipelines happen in one of two ways:
1. Inbound contacts usually from non-executive titles that are interested in learning about your offerings without having to talk with a salesperson. It might make sense over time to devise a strategy to qualify the buyer over time and help lead them to get an idea of the potential value that can be realized.
2. Plan outbound contacts that sales can make to target specific titles within industry segments. It would make sense to get sales and marketing to agree to a Targeted Conversation List™ for each offering that would contain menus of business outcomes that can be achieved through the use of your offerings.
Taking this relatively straightforward task on with involvement form sales and marketing could better coordinate efforts. It could also provide a common understanding of what constitutes a “lead” – a specific title that has expressed an interest in a business outcome (goal) that can be achieved through the use of an offering.