Have you ever watched one of the many different “reality” television shows where a person or group of people gets dropped off in the middle of the wilderness
and have to survive with limited resources?
The thing that often strikes me about these programs is the way that they highlight universal human challenges. The people in each program are very different from one another. The locations where they are being filmed vary from one episode to the next. But in every case, survival really boils down to three factors: food, water, and shelter.
The interesting part of each show is to see how the people involved will figure out ways to acquire those three things when they are scarce.
We find something very similar in sales.
Yes, every sales team is different, and every market is different. But every sales team faces three identical fundamental challenges:
1. Ambiguous Responsibilities.
Other departments like accounting, marketing, etc have very clear-cut responsibilities and (nearly) universal agreement on what the people on these teams
should do. In sales —not so much. In some B2B companies, sales processes, expectations and responsibilities are unclear, creating
And it’s certainly not uncommon for two salespeople at different companies in the same industry to have the same title, but very different roles.
If your sales team is going to succeed, you’re going to need to clearly define what they are there to do.
2. Unclear Sales Processes.
Sales is in an ideal position to optimise and improve the sales funnel and sales processes. But you can’t optimise something if it’s nebulous and undefined.
And that’s a problem, because nebulous, undefined sales process are far too common in B2B companies.
If you’re dealing with this challenge, we recommend that you begin by mapping out your company’s sales process. The Importance of ‘Critical Path’ in Sales can help you break down your current process to its most fundamental components and can help you identify the trouble spots for your organisation.
Once your critical path is defined you can attach kpi’s to each step of the sales process keeping in mind this is both strategic and tactical. Strategic in this example is the theory of how and why it should work while tactical is about the actual reality of doing and in turn measuring effectiveness.
3. Varied Skillsets
Almost no one comes into the sales profession with formal training for the role. That can be an advantage when it comes to problem-solving because the team won’t suffer from the kind of group think that plagues many other departments. You’ll have lots of fresh eyes looking at every situation.
On the other hand, the lack of formal training means that teams sometimes waste a lot of time reinventing the wheel.
The easiest way to overcome that challenge is to read up on best practices and learn from what industry-leading teams have already done.
Having some knowledge of survival skills is always helpful—whether you’re on a reality show or working in sales.
The GOAL of every high performance sales team should be to…… Proactively create the conditions where more deals, that are more profitable, with better customers, are the natural result. This is achieved by engineering the overall sales process such that it reliably generates the desired outcomes as a matter of course.
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Predictable Success can examine your sales processes and deliver an accurate road-map after determining where you’re on track and where you need a course correction. Predictable Success can provide a cost/benefit analysis and expert recommendations to improve your sales performance on every level.