By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®
A common perception is that extraordinary salespeople don’t need and won’t benefit from learning new sales process approaches. I’d venture to say that in making decisions to implement sales process, most of the perceived and anticipated benefits would be realized by having B and C Players perform at higher levels.
A few years ago I was teaching a workshop for new hires of a long-term client. A seller that had taken the initial sales training workshop stopped in the classroom just before we started. Jeff was a consistent top performer and I asked him how business was. To my surprise he said things were going very well and that CustomerCentric Selling® was a significant factor. He went on to say that prior to the workshop he was “maxed out,” albeit at a healthy revenue number and that he had been able to increase his annual revenue by 50%.
When asked why, he said using a formal process to more stringently quality/disqualify opportunities allowed him to avoid wasting time on deals that were unlikely to close. He referenced one of the core concepts of CCS®: Bad news early is good news.
Recently, I spoke with a person who was also a top sales performer and had just accepted a promotion to become a sales manager. In his case he estimated an increase of about 40% as a result of “selling on purpose” and learning early that opportunities weren’t worth his time if:
- Business goals weren’t shared early
- Value could not be established
- Access to members of the buying committee was denied
Regardless of how talented a seller is, everyone gets the same amount of time to work with. Having a structure to prevent wasting time, effort and resources should increase production. The most painful outcomes are the ones where sellers go all the way to the end and lose to a competitor or “no decision.” Having the ability to quantify opportunities based upon buyer actions can help sellers at all levels understand the difference between activity and progress. You never get the time back that you spent on losing opportunities.